Tesla Adds Beautiful New 3D Maps in Chinese New Year Update
Tesla recently released a new update in China for the Chinese New Year. The update is version 2023.44.32 and introduces several new features that are debuting in China first. While some of the features may remain exclusive to the Chinese market, we're hopeful others will be adapted for use outside of China.
One of the biggest additions in the New Year update is the inclusion of new 3D maps. While Tesla relies on Google for a lot of map information that is used in most of the world, in China, Tesla leverages map data from the Chinese tech company Baidu.
The new 3D maps use a more zoomed-in view and include more detail such as the number of lanes on a road, lane markers, speed limit information, and 3D buildings. At the top corner of the display, the driver can switch between the traditional overhead map view or the new 3D format.
The 3D maps mimic the FSD visualizations in a lot of ways. While FSD visualizations are less detailed, they are rendered in real-time and display information such as pedestrians and vehicles, while the 3D maps offer stunning, detailed views of the surrounding roads.
We're unlikely to see these Baidu-powered maps outside of China, but Google and Apple do offer similar 3D maps in many parts of the world that include lane information, 3D buildings, and more.
Tesla has added a new 3D map view in update 2023.44.32 for China.
Instead of an image-based, overhead map view, these new maps show your vehicle as it moves through a 3D environment that visualizes lanes, buildings, trees and more.
While the new 3D maps almost look duplicative of the FSD visualizations, they may provide a hint at where Tesla is headed next.
If we look back at the original Cybertruck UI, we see that Tesla was experimenting with blending map data with FSD visualizations. In the prototype UI, Tesla added vehicle visualizations directly onto a 3D map and merged real-time information such as vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic lights with map data. The map data allowed the UI to include detailed views of the roads, 3D buildings and the navigation’ suggested path.
Number of Superchargers
In addition to the new 3D maps, Tesla also added another feature that aims to reduce range anxiety and offer more information about charging.
A module on the screen will now display the number of charging stations available at the next two service areas.
Zone Limit Speed Reminder
In China, there are road sections that have speed limits that are automatically measured. However, instead of determining the vehicle's speed at a given point in time, they measure the vehicle's average speed over that section of road.
If the vehicle's average speed is higher than the stated speed then the owner could be issued a ticket. To help make drivers aware of their average speed on these road, Tesla added a vehicle module that will display:
Speed limit of the section of the road
Your Tesla’s average speed in that particular section, and
How much distance is remaining for this section to end.
You need to have the Online Route Planning feature under Controls > Navigation enabled for this to work. This feature makes it clearer whether your average speed is over the limit.
Lower Volume Reversing
Next up in Tesla's Chinese New Year update is a feature that may be added globally. This new feature automatically lowers all media volume while the vehicle is reversing, letting the driver focus on the road.
The media volume automatically goes back to the previous level when the car is moved out of reverse. This new feature is optional and can be enabled under Controls > Safety > Lower volume while reversing.
Tesla Adds Beautiful New 3D Maps in Chinese New Year Update
In China, Tesla has physical ground locks on certain Superchargers that prevent vehicles from parking there unless they're charging. While this prevents things like ICEing, it adds the inconvenience of the Tesla driver having to open the Tesla app and choose a parking spot to unlock.
Tesla is now building this functionality directly into the vehicle, preventing the driver from having to pull out their phone at all.
Improved Voice Commands
In China, users have also received additional voice commands, including the ability to control windows, control light and dark mode in the vehicle, and show/hide song lyrics. China also recently added a smart voice assistant.
Chinese users also received apps that have been available in other regions for some time such as the newer Energy app, the synchronized light show as well as improvements to existing China-exclusive apps such as QQ Music.
While the majority of these features will remain exclusive to China, we may see a couple of them added to all vehicles in the future.
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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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