Tesla Adds Bioweapon Defense Mode as Retrofit Option for Model Y

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is offering a HEPA filter retrofit option for the Model Y
Tesla is offering a HEPA filter retrofit option for the Model Y
michaeltfang / Not a Tesla App

Tesla has launched a retrofit service for its 2020 and 2021 Model Y vehicles in the United States and Canada, offering an upgrade to include HEPA filters and enable Bioweapon Defense Mode. This retrofit becomes available two years after the Fremont factory started manufacturing the electric SUV.

Introduction to HEPA Filters in Tesla Model Y

Initially, the Model Y, released in early 2020, did not feature HEPA filters, well-known for capturing and filtering out 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 micrometers. Initially, only the Model S and Model X were equipped with these filters.

Despite the initial absence of HEPA filters in the Model Y, the design allowed enough space for their future inclusion. In June 2021, Tesla began incorporating these filters in the Model Y production line. The new retrofit service, now available through the service section of the Tesla app, addresses the demands of existing owners seeking to upgrade their vehicles.

The retrofit service is priced at $330 USD. Owners can schedule the service via the Tesla mobile app.

Will the Model 3 be Next?

Elon Musk mentioned the impracticality of fitting these "giant" filters in the Model 3. In 2018, he posted:

Model S & X also have an acid gas filter, an alkaline gas filter & a carbon monoxide detector that autoswitches car to recirc mode. We should prob tell people about this more. Filters are giant, so too big to fit in Model 3.

Tesla's new Model 3 was speculated to have a HEPA filter, however it appears it'll continue to be the only Tesla without Bioweapon Defense Mode.

Bioweapon Defense Mode: A Leap in Air Filtration Technology

Utilizing the HEPA filter, Tesla's Bioweapon Defense Mode is inspired by hospital-grade air filtration systems and offers a strong defense against various air pollutants, including pathogens and allergens. This mode operates by pulling external air through the HEPA filter and an additional activated carbon filter, ensuring the removal of harmful particles and contaminants. Furthermore, it creates a positive pressure environment in the cabin, akin to those in medical settings, preventing external air infiltration.

Tesla has showcased the effectiveness of its Bioweapon Defense Mode through various tests and experiments. In one demonstration, a Model Y equipped with this mode was compared to a BMW X3 in a controlled environment filled with smoke, highlighting Tesla's system's superior air filtration capability.

The company is recognized as producing the safest cars on the planet, but that safety goes further than airbags and rollover protection. The importance of air quality in vehicles is increasingly recognized, especially considering the health impacts of prolonged exposure to air pollutants. Tesla's advanced air filtration system enhances passenger well-being and differentiates it from other automakers. While many vehicles have air filtration systems, few rival the comprehensive protection offered by Tesla's Bioweapon Defense Mode.

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Tesla Looks to Add New Full Self-Driving and Premium Connectivity Plans in Canada

By Kevin Armstrong
FSD subscription may be coming to Canada
FSD subscription may be coming to Canada

Tesla may soon support a monthly FSD subscription and the Premium Connectivity annual plan for Canadian customers. The possible move was discussed on X as Tesla’s Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development, Rohan Patel, responded to inquiries.

FSD Beta Subscription in Canada

The potential introduction of the FSD beta subscription in Canada represents a notable evolution in Tesla’s FSD pricing. The monthly subscription is available in the U.S. for $200 USD per month, this service allows Tesla owners to access the company’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Considering currency exchange rates, this could translate to around $270 CAD monthly for Canadian consumers. This pricing strategy aims to make Tesla’s ADAS features more accessible, offering flexibility to subscribe or unsubscribe based on individual needs and circumstances, such as seasonal driving preferences. Currently, Canadian customers only have the option to buy FSD in full at $16,000 CAD.

While a subscription service for FSD Beta may allow more drivers to try out the technology, it will also assist Tesla in gathering more information and improving the system faster. The more miles clocked by FSD, the more the system learns.

Miles driven on FSD
Miles driven on FSD

Premium Connectivity Annual Plan

Alongside the FSD beta, Tesla is exploring the possibility of offering an annual subscription model for its Premium Connectivity service in Canada. Tesla started offering an annual subscription for Premium Connectivity in the US back in 2022 at $99.99, representing a 20% savings. Premium connectivity offers drivers additional features such as Live Traffic Visualization, Satellite-View Maps, and streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. The anticipated price for Canadian subscribers is set to be around $139.99 annually, offering a savings opportunity compared to the current monthly subscription rate of $13.99 CAD.

Patel's engagement on X highlights Tesla's proactive approach to addressing potential legal and regulatory barriers that might impede the introduction of these services in Canada. He committed to investigating these issues, underscoring Tesla's dedication to its Canadian customer base.

Strategic Investments and Enthusiastic Community

Tesla's plans for Canada go beyond just offering new subscription services. The company has made significant investments in manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain operations in the country.

Tesla FSD Beta v12 Auto Parks, Completes U-Turns, But Removes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Ability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers

Tesla's FSD Beta version 12.2.1, update 2023.44.30.20, recently started going out to some owners, which resulted in more videos posted on X. There are several examples of amazing technology at work, but also evidence that more work is needed.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla's Director of Autopilot Software, recently highlighted the sophistication of FSD Beta v12 on X, emphasizing how the system's end-to-end approach is tackling complex driving scenarios with remarkable ease. His response came to a video of FSD maneuvering around a large puddle.

FSD V12 Does U-Turns

One of the standout features of FSD Beta v12 is its ability to execute U-turns seamlessly when required by the route. This is where real-world examples show the good and the bad of this highly advanced maneuver come into play. X user AI DRIVR, an account posting several high-quality videos of V12.2.1 in action, demonstrates a flawless U-turn.

Unfortunately, not all U-turns posted on X are as pretty; Randolph Kim has been experimenting with several scenarios. While later videos showed better behavior with u-turns and roundabouts, the earlier attempts had to be disengaged.

Parking Mode / First Glimpse at Park Seek

During our first glimpse of FSD v12 during Musk’s livestream, we noticed a new behavior when the vehicle reached its destination. Instead of just stopping, the vehicle now pulled over to the side of the road. However, it looks like the newest release goes one step further.

In a video by ArthurFromX, the vehicle is navigating to a parking lot. Not only does the vehicle successfully navigate to the parking lot, but it hunts around for a spot and then successfully parks without any additional instructions.

This could be our first glimpse at Tesla’s upcoming Park Seek feature that will eventually let the vehicle drop you off at the door and then go park itself.

Return of the Snapshot Button

Tesla appears to have reintroduced the Snapshot button in this update, at least to some owners. The snapshot button allows drivers to send additional information to Tesla regarding Autopilot's performance. This feature and the existing voice command feedback option provide Tesla with invaluable data to improve the FSD system further.

Automatic Speed Offset

Another noteworthy addition is the Automatic Set Speed Offset feature, which grants the vehicle autonomy to adjust its speed based on factors such as road type, traffic flow, and environmental conditions. The video below shows this feature in action. The feature is turned off by default and it currently only applies to street-level roads, but it’s a shift toward more human-like behavior for FSD Beta.

TACC is No Longer Accessible

Recently, Tesla revised the Autopilot activation method to avoid confusion and offered drivers two choices — a single pull of the stalk to enable FSD Beta or the traditional two taps. However, with FSD Beta v12, drivers are now required to use the single pull method to activate Autopilot.

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) has traditionally been one pull of the stalk and Autopilot two pulls, but with the new single-pull method to activate Autopilot, TACC becomes unavailable. This hasn’t been a big deal until the release of FSD v12. With v12 Tesla is now requiring FSD Beta to use the single tap activation method.

This means that if a driver chooses to use FSD Beta, then TACC is no longer accessible. The only way to enable it is to go into Controls > Autopilot and turn off FSD Beta and instead choose Autosteer (or TACC). However, if you wish to enable FSD Beta again later, then it requires the vehicle to be in Park. Switching between Autosteer and FSD Beta isn’t practical for drivers. For those who rely on TACC, this issue could be a significant disadvantage in this release.

Update 2023.44.30.20

FSD 12.2.1
Installed on 0% of vehicles
0 Installs today
Last updated: Feb 25, 6:00 am

Several drivers have praised FSD Beta v12’s ability to navigate complex situations, better decision-making, and smoother behavior. However, as with any cutting-edge technology, there have been instances where the system's responses have room for improvement, highlighting the importance of its continued development.

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