Tesla Update To Use Cabin Camera for HOV Lane Eligibility, Add Apple Podcasts and Variable Playback Speeds

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla will expand the use of the cabin camera for HOV lane use
Tesla will expand the use of the cabin camera for HOV lane use
Not a Tesla App

Tesla hacker @greentheonly recently decompiled Tesla's firmware for software update 2023.44.1 and found a few goodies under the hood.

Green found references to various media player improvements and an upcoming feature for that makes clever use of the in-cabin camera.

Shaka: Tesla's New Media Player

Tesla began switching to a web-based media player last year with Apple Music and has slowly migrated their audio services to the new player.

However, now Tesla is switching to a different open-sourced web player called Shaka.

While the design of the player is separate and is expected to remain the same, Shaka offers advances such as deep support for various audio and video codecs, including those with DRM.

Shaka isn't just an audio player and could be used for video playback as well. Shaka also offers support for subtitles, ads and more. It'd be interesting to see if Tesla is thinking about creating an audio service that is supported by ads and doesn't require premium connectivity. It's not clear which features Shaka features Tesla will leverage, but their software engineers are likely switching to Shaka for ease of development and better support.

Apple Podcasts

Another notable find is a mention of Apple Podcasts, which isn't currently available in Tesla's music services. Apple Podcasts is going to be its own individual app and isn't expected to require an Apple Music subscription. It'll allow users to easily listen to existing podcasts and sync their progress if they use the Podcasts app on iOS.

We now know that Apple Podcasts will be part of the 2023 Holiday Update.

Customizable Playback Speeds

There are also planned updates around variable playback speeds for media content, including 1.25x, 1.5x, and 2x speed options. As Green indicated, this feature offers greater flexibility in how users consume media, allowing for a personalized listening experience. It remains unclear whether these playback speeds will be available across all platforms or solely for Apple Podcasts.

Automatically Determine Use of HOV Lanes

In an innovative application of in-car technology, this update suggests the use of the cabin camera to turn High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane usage automatically. This feature would be contingent on additional cabin camera permissions. However, if you want Autopilot, (or presumably Full Self Driving) to ride in the HOV lane, it will be able to determine its eligibility automatically.

Activating Autopilot for HOV lanes is currently a manual process. However, considering that eligibility for many states' HOV lanes depends on the vehicle's occupancy, it's smart to utilize the cabin camera to automatically count passengers.

Since some states offer HOV lane use to EVs, even if they don't meet the occupant threshold, this new feature will likely be an option. Tesla may simply change the HOV lane use option from a toggle to a new setting that offers three options - Always, Never, Auto (Based on Occupants).

While references to these enhancements were found in Tesla software update 2023.44, they're not available quite yet. However, considering that there are already references to these new features in a production update, it may not be long before these features are exposed.

Tesla's holiday update is right around the corner and could arrive as early as this week. Some of these features may be a present from Santa Musk himself.

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.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

More Tesla News


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.