Tesla Cybertruck Turns the Tables, Shows Power in Snow Pull, Demonstrates Distorted Media Coverage [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck to the Rescue/YouTube/Cars9to5
Cybertruck to the Rescue/YouTube/Cars9to5

A video posted on YouTube by user cars9to5 has stirred up some debate but an obvious lack of discussion. The footage showcases a Tesla Cybertruck pulling a Ford F150 out of a snow mound, an act that, on the surface, highlights the Cybertruck's power and utility. However, the situation and subsequent online reactions have painted a more complex picture of public perception and media coverage of Tesla's vehicles.

The uploader states that they were behind the wheel of the Cybertruck and described the rescue as impromptu, noting the Ford driver's struggle with traction control and a possible lack of a rear locker. Despite the Cybertruck's success in aiding the F150, the simplicity of the recovery was overshadowed by debates on the conditions and execution of the rescue.

A Spectrum of Opinions

The video became a focal point for varied opinions. As commenters pointed out, the Cybertruck was on the pavement during the rescue, suggesting that the outcome would be the same if the roles were reversed. Another user echoed this sentiment and remarked that the situation mirrored a previous incident where a Cybertruck was rescued, indicating a potential bias in public reaction based on the vehicles involved.

Skeptics dismissed the video as staged, questioning the authenticity of the F150's predicament. Others, like expressed doubt about the severity of the situation, noting the snow's appearance and the F150's position.

A Reflection on Bias and Perception

While getting very little play on social media, it is getting none in the mainstream media, underscoring a broader discussion about media coverage and public perception of electric vehicles, particularly those made by Tesla. While some viewers quickly criticize or downplay the significance of the Cybertruck's rescue, others point out the inconsistency in reactions to similar events involving traditional vehicles.

Notably, back in December, a Ford 350 was widely praised across numerous news outlets for a similar feat -- rescuing a non-production model from snowy conditions. The contrast in the visibility of these two events has led to accusations of media bias against Tesla, highlighting a disparity in how the achievements and capabilities of electric vehicles are represented.

The discrepancy in media coverage between the two incidents raises important questions about the portrayal of electric vehicles in mainstream media. While the Ford 350's rescue operation received widespread acclaim, the Cybertruck's similar act of vehicular assistance has not been met with the same level of enthusiasm or visibility. This imbalance suggests a broader issue of perception and acceptance of electric vehicles, potentially influencing public opinion and consumer choices.

Despite its significant contributions to pushing the automotive industry toward sustainability, Tesla has long faced scrutiny and skepticism from various quarters. Events like the Cybertruck's snow rescue offer tangible proof of electric vehicles' capabilities, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. However, they require fair and balanced coverage for such achievements to alter perceptions. That is unlikely, but Tesla is starting to spend on social media advertising, hopefully changing the narrative and educating people while dispelling myths.

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.

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