Tesla to Eliminate the Steering Wheel Nag in FSD v12.4; Vehicles Supported and Release Date

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Tesla's driver monitoring system
Tesla's driver monitoring system

In a recent interaction on X, Elon Musk confirmed that the long-standing steering wheel nag, designed to ensure driver attentiveness, would be removed in FSD v12.4.

Musk initially replied to a user on X claiming that FSD v12.4 would fix the steering wheel nag. However, it wasn't clear what Musk meant by fixed until user, Farzad, created another post stating that Musk insinuated that the nag would be removed in FSD v12.4, to which Musk replied with “Yes.”

Tesla's removal of the steering wheel nag isn't surprising, as Tesla's camera-based driver monitoring system in the vehicle can in theory do a much better job monitoring the driver's attentiveness. So before NHTSA has a heart attack with Musk's comment, it's important to understand that Tesla is likely improving cabin camera monitoring in this same update to the point that the steering wheel nag becomes redundant.

How Tesla Uses the Cabin Camera

Tesla uses the cabin camera to detect whether a driver is paying attention to the road by detecting whether their eyes are open, which way their head is facing, and even whether the driver is using their phone.

Thanks to Tesla hacker Greentheonly, we know Tesla uses the vehicle’s interior camera output and AI to determine the likelihood of each scenario they're looking for. For example, Tesla runs neural networks that look at the video feed of the cabin camera and determine whether the driver is looking up at the road, looking off to the side, or looking down.

This Won't be the End of the Steering Wheel Nag

While Musk's statement implies the removal of the steering wheel nag, Tesla will probably retain it as a fallback measure, at least in early iterations of the suspected improved camera-based monitoring system.

The steering wheel nag may still be used when the cabin camera can't confidently determine whether the driver is paying attention. This could be caused by sunglasses, hats, glare, or even driving at night. Newer Teslas include interior infrared lights that help the camera see in the dark, although not all Teslas on the road include infrared lights.

Will It Also Remove It For Basic Autopilot?

While Musk says Tesla will remove the steering wheel nag in FSD v12.4, the need to detect driver attentiveness isn’t unique to FSD. Tesla detects for driver attentiveness in all their Autopilot packages, including Basic Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and FSD. It’s not clear whether Tesla plans to only remove the nag in FSD, but it looks like Tesla will at least start there and the feature will likely work its way down to Enhance Autopilot and Basic Autopilot as well.

Vehicles Supported

The only Teslas expected to take advantage of the “nag-less” improvements in FSD v12.4 are those with cabin cameras, which include the Model 3, Model Y, Cybertruck, and the redesigned Model S and Model X. However, the newest vehicles with infrared lights near the cabin camera will likely benefit the most.

FSD v12.4 Release Date and Features

Elon Musk indicated that FSD v12.4 could start rolling out as early as next week. Musk doesn't usually reveal what's in each FSD update, but he did talk about what we should expect in FSD v12.4, disclosing that the update will largely focus on refining passenger comfort by addressing concerns such as abrupt acceleration and braking.

Musk went on to tease some of the improvements to expect in subsequent versions like v12.5 and v12.6, but the primary focus of v12.4 seems to be delivering a smoother and better driving experience.

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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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


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