Software Update Adds Traffic Light Countdown and Trip Progress Bar in China

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has added a trip progress bar and traffic light countdown in China
Tesla has added a trip progress bar and traffic light countdown in China

Tesla's latest software update, version 2023.44.100, has brought an innovative feature to its vehicles in China - a countdown for traffic lights. The update displays the traffic light status and the remaining seconds for the next intersection in navigation mode. The feature requires Tesla's premium connectivity.

The concept isn't entirely new; Audi introduced a similar technology years ago using vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies. Audi's Traffic Light Information system, part of Audi Connect PRIME, also offers a countdown for traffic lights and other benefits like recommended driving speeds for fuel conservation.

How Does It Work?

The functionality of Tesla's new feature is likely to be based on principles similar to Audi's TLI. It's speculated that Tesla might be using signals from traffic lights or government data accessed via the internet in China. This method would align with Audi's approach, where data on traffic light patterns is collected and analyzed to provide real-time updates to drivers.

The traffic light countdown is more than a convenience feature. It can improve traffic flow and reduce fuel consumption by advising drivers on optimal speeds and reducing unnecessary idling at traffic lights. Cities can use the aggregated data to optimize signal timing, further enhancing traffic management.

Trip Progress Bar

At the bottom of the photo, we can also see that Tesla has added a “progress bar” in the bottom navigation module that typically displays additional nav options and your estimated arrival time, distance to travel, and more. The progress is displayed with a red triangle marking the vehicle’s trip progress along the gray and blue line.

It seems that Tesla could add this feature to any additional regions in the future, as it doesn’t depend on any additional data, unlike the traffic light countdown.

The Future of Connected Driving

The adoption of 5G-powered cellular vehicle-to-everything technologies will enhance these systems. Such advancements could allow for near-instantaneous communication between vehicles and infrastructure, increasing driver safety and efficiency. There has been speculation of this before from Tesla when talk of the HELP system surfaced. Not only would it change the hazard light features, but if a Tesla encountered a hazard, it would alert other vehicles approaching the area of the danger.

Audi's journey in traffic management technology dates back to the mid-2000s with their Travolution project in Ingolstadt, Germany. This project involved direct wireless communication with traffic signals to relay information, significantly reducing time spent at traffic lights and decreasing fuel consumption. The expansion of Travolution to other cities and the evolution into TLI marked Audi's commitment to innovative traffic management solutions.

Introducing this technology will allow municipalities to improve traffic flow and pedestrian-friendly intersections. The continuous data exchange helps optimize traffic signal timings and reshape road layouts based on traffic patterns. For drivers, this translates to a smoother driving experience with fewer stops and starts, ultimately leading to more efficient and less stressful journeys.

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New Model 3 Performance, Racing-Inspired Seats Revealed, a Glimpse of the Front Splitter

By Kevin Armstrong
X/Nic Cruz Patane
X/Nic Cruz Patane

Tesla's reintroduction of the Model 3 Performance continues to inch closer, and just like the refreshed Model 3 and the Cybertruck, every peek gives us some more hints and builds more excitement. A recent observation of a partially covered Tesla Model 3 Performance prototype revealed the new Sport seats designed for improved comfort.

Posted on X by Nic Cruz Patane, the upgraded Model 3 Performance was sighted in Santa Monica, where the vehicle's engineering prototype displayed minimal window tinting, offering a sneak peek at the vehicle's improved seating. The Sport seats, resembling dedicated racing bucket seats, significantly depart from the current Model 3 seating options.

Sport Seats Coming to Other Models?

Tesla's initiative to incorporate Sport seats into the Model 3 Performance hints at broader plans to equip its high-performance models, including the Model S Plaid, Model X Plaid, and Model Y Performance, with similar seating options. This move will elevate the driving experience across Tesla's performance vehicle range.

These seats were also spotted a few weeks ago by enthusiast Fidel Grandez. Initially thought to be designated for the Model S Plaid, these Sport seats have found their rightful place in the Model 3 Performance, aligning with Tesla's vision for a performance-focused yet more affordable electric sedan.

New Wheels and Front Lip

In addition to the seats, the Model 3 Performance is rumored to showcase a suite of enhancements. Another angle gives a little bit of an outline of the new front lower splitter. Other aesthetic and functional upgrades include "Warp" 20-inch wheels, advanced braking systems, and revised suspension components.

Tesla has been testing the Model 3 Performance prototypes for a few months, signaling that initial production could be underway in North America. This step is crucial as Tesla aims to reintroduce the Performance trim to the market, having temporarily removed it from their lineup. The reintroduction is timely, considering the evolving landscape of EV incentives in the United States. While the official launch date remains under wraps, anticipation builds for the Model 3 Performance's debut, expected in the first half of 2024.

Cool Carpool Mom: How Kim Kardashian's Cybertruck Ride Benefits Tesla

By Kevin Armstrong
Instagram/Kim Kardashian
Instagram/Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian showcased her Cybertruck with the caption "cool carpool mom" to her 364 million followers on Instagram. The A-list celebrity and billionaire is well known for her knack for staying at the forefront of trends, making this one image a powerful endorsement for Tesla. The picture of one of the most influential celebrities of our time picking the Cybertruck as her distinctive vehicle speaks volumes about the brand's penetration into popular culture and its appeal to a broad demographic, including those who value style, innovation, and sustainability.

The Power of Celebrity Influence

Kim Kardashian's influence cannot be overstated. Her every move is watched and often emulated by fans around the globe. Her journey from reality TV star to billionaire entrepreneur has been marked by a series of successful ventures in fashion, beauty, and technology investments, making her a model of modern business acumen. Kardashian's ability to turn personal endorsements into significant trends is unparalleled, making her engagement with Tesla's Cybertruck a notable moment for the company.

Kardashian's influence extends far beyond mere product endorsement. Her strategic use of social media to connect with her audience has transformed how brands interact with consumers. She creates a personal connection that can sway consumer behavior by sharing her life, interests, and choices, including her vehicle preferences. Her endorsement of the Cybertruck can significantly enhance Tesla's brand visibility and desirability, particularly among consumers who may not have previously considered an electric vehicle.

Kardashian has recently joined the exclusive circle of celebrities seen driving the Cybertruck, a group that boasts names like Pharrell, Lady Gaga, Jay Leno, and not to forget Elon Musk himself (who, aside from being Tesla's CEO, commands a staggering following of over 370 million on X). Each of these stars wields significant influence, captivating audiences that range from thousands to millions globally.

Sustainability Meets Style

Moreover, Kardashian's endorsement comes at a time when the importance of sustainable living and eco-friendly choices is increasingly recognized. Her choice of an electric vehicle over traditional gasoline-powered cars sends a strong message about the importance of environmental responsibility, aligning with Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. This alignment boosts Tesla's brand and promotes a broader cultural shift towards sustainability.

In the context of celebrity endorsements, Kim Kardashian's showcase of the Tesla Cybertruck is a masterstroke. It merges the worlds of entertainment, technology, and sustainability, highlighting the evolving nature of brand-consumer relationships in the digital age. Tesla's innovative approach to vehicle design and its commitment to sustainability is amplified by Kardashian's endorsement, illustrating the power of celebrity influence in shaping consumer preferences and driving societal trends.

Ultimately, Kardashian driving a Cybertruck and branding herself as a "cool carpool mom" is a significant endorsement for Tesla, enhancing the brand's visibility, appeal, and alignment with sustainable values. In an era where brand success is increasingly tied to social influence and cultural relevance, Tesla's association with Kardashian can only be seen as a positive development, driving the brand further into the mainstream consciousness and reinforcing its position as a leader in the shift towards a more sustainable future.

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