New Tesla Holiday Update Feature Uncovered: Alternate Routes While Driving, While Haptic Feedback Added in China

By Kevin Armstrong
The Holiday Update will also include improvements to Alternate Routes
The Holiday Update will also include improvements to Alternate Routes
Not a Tesla App

Tesla's Holiday Update may have more stocking stuffers than initially reported. A new feature has just been found as part of the 2023.44.25.1 holiday update -- Alternate Routes While Driving.

The new feature will dynamically offer alternate route suggestions while driving, which builds on last year's introduction of alternate routes.

Tesla drivers will now be able to look at alternate routes when encountering traffic or construction. Instead of just having three routes to pick from at the start of the trip, the driver can now view alternate routes at any point in time.

How Does It Work?

Accessing this feature is straightforward. While driving, you can tap the map mode button (route icon) at the top right of the display or tap on the next turn indicator at the top of your turn-by-turn directions. This action will switch the map to an overview and request alternate routes from Tesla based on your current location.

The alternate routes are expected to then be displayed on the map in a similar way that they are displayed at the start of a trip. You can tap on a different route, or continue your existing one.

Limitations

This is a great improvement and should help in situations where the navigation system may not be providing the best route. However, it's important to note that alternate routes won't always be displayed on screen as they are with Google Maps. Google Maps will continuously offer alternate routes as you drive, labeling them as ‘1 minute faster,’ or ‘5 minutes slower,’ so that the driver is always aware of how much faster or slower a different route can take.

In Tesla’s implementation, the driver will need to request alternate routes by switching to the map overview.

Other Navigation Improvements

Alongside the Alternate Routes feature, Tesla has been enhancing its navigation capabilities. In the holiday update, drivers will notice that traffic lights and stop signs appear much more prominent on the display. Additionally, the update includes icons for speed camera locations and images for complex turns in some regions.

Haptic Feedback for Forward Collision Warnings

Tesla has also been focusing on safety enhancements. Notably, haptic feedback has been recently introduced to forward collision warnings in China. In addition to a vehicle turning red on the screen and an audible noise, haptic feedback will now be provided via the steering wheel.

It’s unclear whether Tesla will roll out this enhancement to other regions, but as NHTSA pressures Tesla to offer more driver feedback and clearer instructions, we may see Tesla add more of these types of features.

Supported Regions

Alternate Routes While Driving will likely be limited to specific regions. However, if you currently have access to alternate routes, there’s a good chance that you’ll receive this enhancement as well.

Tesla said the Holiday Update would start shipping this week, although, with the NHTSA-related changes, it’s possible the release could be pushed back a few days or even a week. Either way, it shouldn’t be long before we know more about Alternate Routes While Driving and the other features in the holiday update, such as High Fidelity Park Assist.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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