As the Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure at Tesla, Rebecca Tinucci is not just a key executive in the company but also a pivotal figure in the electric vehicle industry. She has been recognized as one of the "100 Most Influential Climate Leaders in Business for 2023" by Time Magazine.
Well Deserved Recognition
Tinucci's notable achievement in 2023 was her successful negotiation with other leading EV manufacturers to expand access to Tesla's charging network across the United States. This strategic move involved integrating major automotive brands such as BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota into Tesla's charging ecosystem.
This expansion has made Tesla's charging standard the de facto choice in North America and opened new revenue streams for the company by welcoming non-Tesla EV owners to use its network. Additionally, it has positioned Tesla to benefit from federal charging infrastructure funding, from which it was previously excluded.
This strategic expansion under Tinucci's leadership signifies a monumental shift in the EV charging landscape. By creating a more inclusive charging network, Tesla has not only bolstered its position in the market but also contributed significantly to the broader adoption of EVs, reinforcing the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Tinucci was a shining star among Tesla's leadership during the Investor Day 2023 event in March. She enthusiastically led the audience through Tesla's charging advancements and teased the future. Tinucci was the one to first hint at the Tesla retro diner that is now under construction in Los Angeles. She also gave a lot of ammunition to speculate about a possible charging pad.
Educational and Early Professional Foundations
After completing her Commerce, Finance, and Management studies at the University of Virginia, Tinucci embarked on her professional journey in 2008 as a Management Consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates in New York. In 2009, she ventured into entrepreneurship by establishing Evatran. This enterprise, known as Plugless Power in the market, specializes in the pioneering field of wireless EV charging.
Tinucci's career took a significant turn when she relocated to the West Coast in 2018 and joined Tesla in a pivotal role as a Senior Product Manager. She distinguished herself by forming and leading a team focused on developing Machine Vision technologies for advanced manufacturing processes there. Her ability to drive progress was quickly recognized, leading to her promotion to Senior Program Manager of the Energy Group within just four months, where she focused on software development and pivotal strategic projects.
Ascending the Ranks at Tesla
Tinucci's climb through Tesla's ranks was rapid and impactful. She soon took on the role of Staff Technical Program Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing critical initiatives throughout the engineering division. As the Senior Manager for Super Charging, she played a crucial role in Tesla's expansion, implementing innovative features such as integrating wait times into Tesla's navigation system for busy Supercharger stations and introducing variable charging rates based on the time of day at selected locations.
Her promotion to Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure marked a significant milestone in her career. Tinucci oversees Tesla's worldwide charging business units in this role, directing a team of more than 450 professionals. Her recognition by Time Magazine underscores her influence and the critical role she plays in advancing sustainable transportation solutions. As she continues to lead Tesla's charging infrastructure to new heights, her contributions are setting new benchmarks in the EV assigning domain.
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
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'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.
This is the sort of driving that's really hard to code explicitly, but our end-to-end approach brings in almost effortlessly. https://t.co/gw4vipu9iY
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.
FSD Beta v12.2.1 attempts U-turns at signalized intersections. So, I wanted to see how far I could push it. Looking for U-turns in LA, maps showed a U-turn at a left turn pocket on a smaller 4-lane mixed-use road. Car overshot the U-turn and had to disengage due to oncoming car. pic.twitter.com/hCfQYFh4ue
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.
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.
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.
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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