Tesla is Creating a Voice Assistant to Replace Voice Commands [Example of Voice]

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Tesla is working on a voice assistant
Tesla is working on a voice assistant

It looks like Tesla may soon be replacing its archaic voice commands with something much more useful — a voice assistant.

Greentheonly, who often takes deep dives into Tesla software by decompiling the firmware and looking for changes, has now found the early integration of a voice assistant.

Voice Assistant Already Available in China

Tesla has already replaced its voice commands in China with a voice assistant that can not only control certain aspects of the vehicle using more natural language but can also answer common knowledge questions such as the current weather, stock quotes and more (video below).

Available Only on AMD?

Correction: Tesla’s voice assistant in China is only available on vehicles with AMD processors (MCU 3), and unfortunately not on older Intel-based (MCU 2) cars. If Tesla is utilizing the same core technologies in its upcoming voice assistant for other regions, we may see the same limitation.

Intel vehicles in China still use the voice command system we’re familiar with today.

Tesla Creating Own Assistant

According to Green's findings, it looks like Tesla may be rolling its own solution instead of integrating something like Amazon Alexa like Rivian has. Tesla created their own solution in China by using some of their own technology and several existing software solutions. However, some of them are only available in China so they don’t scale to support additional regions.

Grōk

The first thought that comes to mind is Tesla leaning on AI efforts by Grōk and xAI, which could help it support common knowledge questions and search the web for answers. However, that only gets Tesla partly there, as Alexa and Google Assistant already support a large ecosystem, one that may not be available if Tesla creates their own voice assistant. With Tesla’s solution, a driver may be limited to what devices they can control through the voice assistant, at least initially. Either way, just a more natural way to activate certain vehicle solutions will be an improvement over what’s available today. The ability to ask the assistant common questions will be the icing on top.

Wake Word

According to Green, the source code hinted at the voice assistant using a wake word, which would replace the need to press the scroll wheel on the steering wheel. Tesla has begun to use the left scroll wheel button for additional things lately such as wiper controls and a multi-function mode, so this may fit in with their plan.

It’s fun to speculate what the wake word would be or whether Tesla would add the ability to create your own. It could be something as simple as ‘Hey, Tesla’, ‘Grok’, or something more humorous as Tesla has a knack for. Unfortunately, there weren't any hints on what the actual wake word would be, but being able to set a destination, play a specific song or ask the assistant for the weather will be a much-needed improvement.

Supported Models

It's not clear which models Tesla would support a voice assistant, but with the release of software v12 with update 2024.14.3, Tesla is starting to leave more features out of older Intel-based vehicles. While a voice assistant may not necessarily be computationally heavy, it may depend on Tesla's implementation and whether voice commands are transcribed on device or carried over the internet for transcription.

Voice Model

In the software, there are references to Microsoft's text-to-speech technology and specifically to a voice named “Jenny Neutral.”

The “Jenny Neutral” voice seems like an acceptable voice, bringing a natural-sounding voice to Tesla's voice assistant, although it doesn't differ much from what you find on other assistants. You can view an example of Microsoft’s “Jenny Neutral” voice in the video below.

Tesla has been more mindful lately about adding information for unreleased features to its software to help prevent leaks, so by the time something like this is found by Green, it usually doesn't take long before it becomes available, although this could also make for an exciting Christmas present.

Impact Report: Tesla Vehicles 8x Less Likely to Catch Fire, Batteries Degrade 15% After 200k Miles

By Karan Singh

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by producing products far superior to fossil fuel alternatives and sourcing and manufacturing them sustainably. Tesla released its 2023 Impact Report yesterday, discussing their ongoing impact on the environment and the improvements seen.

Displacing Fossil Fuels

In 2023 alone, Tesla’s impact on the environment through its vehicles, Powerwall, and Solar Roof has been massively impactful – Tesla customers avoided releasing the equivalent of 20 million metric tons of CO2e into the environment. That is the equivalent of 51 billion miles of driving an average internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Each Tesla vehicle that is on the road avoids an average of 51 tons of CO2e emission into the environment. After just 3 years of driving, a Tesla’s lifetime emissions are lower than those of a comparable ICE vehicle. After the average lifespan of a vehicle in North America – 17 years – a single Tesla will have exceeded that value 5.5 times over.

Integrated Ecosystems

Tesla offers comprehensive ecosystems of products to address clean energy and transportation needs, from Megapack, Solar Roof, and Powerwall, to the Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck.

Tesla Solar produces power for storage in Megapacks or Powerwalls, which charge electric vehicles. Tesla also produces some of their own batteries, for both its storage applications and vehicles, enabling a complete cycle.

On the software side, products like Autobidder, Full Self-Driving, and the upcoming Robotaxi work to maximize the productivity of electricity that is stored in vehicles, helping to further displace fossil fuels in a single ecosystem of well-designed products.

Tesla's ecosystem depicted.
Tesla's ecosystem depicted.

World’s Best EVs

Tesla’s Model Y is still the best-selling vehicle in 2023, a trend likely to continue in 2024. And it’s not for little reason. It is the world’s most efficient EV, capable of running Autopilot/FSD, and is considered one of the best safety picks in both North America and Europe. Tesla’s data has also proven that they are, on average, 7.63 times safer than a traditional vehicle when running Autopilot.

Additionally, the Model Y is priced $3,000 USD below the average new vehicle in the US before the Federal EV Tax Credit – a difference of $17,000 after factoring in the credit and gas savings over 5 years.

Battery Degradation

Model 3/Y battery degradation over time
Model 3/Y battery degradation over time

Battery degradation is often brought up as a concern for EVs and the environment. Batteries fade away, become useless, and cannot be recycled. According to Tesla’s data and experience, this is far from the truth.

In fact, Tesla has found that their batteries degrade about 15% after 200,000 miles – the equivalent of the average lifetime of a vehicle. And in fact, they do even better in the cold than they do in the heat, with better degradation performance in Canada over the US.

Another interesting fact is that Tesla vehicles in particular – are 8 times less likely to be victim to a vehicle fire, compared against the US average.

Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainably sourcing materials is essential to reach Tesla’s vision of a world with reduced environmental impacts. In 2023, Tesla recovered enough battery materials to produce 43,000 Model Y RWD vehicles, while also sourcing Gigafactory Berlin with 100% renewable energy.

Overall, Tesla solar owners generated enough energy to power all Tesla locations, including all the Mega and Giga Factories, and all other facilities – over 3 times.

Tesla has also reduced water use by 25% over the last 5 years for vehicle production, marking a new milestone low – at 2.48 cubic meters of water, versus 3.37 cubic meters of water for an average ICE vehicle.

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Megafactory in Shanghai

By Karan Singh

Tesla broke ground on a new Megafactory in Shanghai’s Lingang free trade zone pilot program. This factory will be Tesla’s first foray into battery production outside of the United States, mirroring its direction in Lathrop, California.

Batteries, Not Cars

Megafactory Shanghai won’t be producing cars but rather will be producing Megapacks, which are grid-scale battery solutions that can power entire electricity grids.

Each massive Megapack battery unit, about the size of a shipping container, can deliver about 1.2 megawatts of power capacity, with 3.9 megawatt-hours of electricity. A single Megapack unit can power approximately 3,600 homes for an hour.

The Megafactory is scheduled to begin production in early 2025, with production goals of 10,000 Megapack units per year.

Sustainable Energy and Megapack

One of Tesla's Megapacks
One of Tesla's Megapacks

Tesla’s mission is more than just producing self-driving cars – it’s to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As part of this mission, Megapack and grid-scale energy solutions are key to offset energy costs and carbon emissions when wind, solar, or hydro are at reduced capacities.

Megapack helps to maximize renewable energy use, minimize carbon use, and allow base-load capacities like nuclear power to maintain their output. Similar energy-storage solutions like pumped storage hydropower are expensive, require specific terrain features, and can take years to construct. Megapack units ship assembled, allowing for rapid installation with minimal complexity.

Lathrop vs Shanghai

Tesla’s fairly new facility in Lathrop, California is a mirror of the new facility being built in Shanghai. However, just like the differences between Fremont, Giga Texas, and Giga Shanghai, Mega Shanghai will likely incorporate new technologies to improve productivity. Additionally, it serves as a way to serve the energy market in the Indo-Pacific region, which has been at the forefront of energy development in the last decade.

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