Tesla's Upcoming Model Y, Project Juniper, Spotted with Front Bumper Camera; Coming in 2025

By Karan Singh

While Elon Musk has previously mentioned that a refreshed Model Y, codenamed “Juniper”, would not be arriving in 2024,  JacklJack on Reddit snapped a picture of a Model Y, which was covered up.

When Will It Be Released

The refresh, or Highland Model 3 began with engineering test vehicles being spotted near Giga Texas and the Fremont factory in California. Similarly, this covered-up Model Y was spotted near Pasadena, California.

Given the timelines we saw for the new Model 3, this prototype for the Model Y appears to be following a trajectory for an early to mid-2025 launch. Engineering test vehicles for the new Model 3 were first spotted in North America about 6-8 months prior to its introduction to China. After its initial release in Chinese, the vehicle was later released in North America just a few months later.

If timelines for Project Juniper are similar to what we saw for the Model 3, we should expect to see more engineering test vehicles on the road in North America soon.

The vehicle is expected to be released in China first, with a North American and European arrival following sometime after. While the Performance variant of the new Model 3 didn’t launch until April of 2024, several months after the Long Range version was available in North America, it’s not clear whether Tesla will follow a similar strategy and launch the Long Range version of the new Model Y before the Performance model.

Front Bumper Camera

There was a lot of speculation about the refreshed Model 3 coming with a front bumper camera, but so far the Cybertruck is the only Tesla vehicle that includes a bumper camera and a camera washer (video). While updated versions of the Model S and Model X are also expected to add the lower-bumper camera, so also have yet to go on sale as well.

It’s not clear why Tesla didn’t launch the new camera with the new Model 3 since the bumper was already being redesigned and the factories were being retooled. However, according to the spy shot of the updated Model Y, it looks like it could be Tesla’s second vehicle to include the bumper camera. TeslaNewswire shared a photo of the Model Y with the brightness increased which appears to reveal the new front bumper camera. The location is exactly where you’d expect, very similar to the Cybertruck and similar to early shots of the prototype Model 3 that also contained the bumper camera.

It’s not clear whether this additional camera will make it into the production version, but it’s at least a sign that Tesla is considering adding this camera to another model.

Musk Asks People to Stop

Elon Musk replied to Sawyer Merritt on X (Twitter), not only reiterating that the refreshed Model Y will not be released this year. He also asked people to stop hinting that it will be since it damages Tesla’s sales of the current vehicle.

Musk reiterates that the new Model Y will not launch in 2024
Musk reiterates that the new Model Y will not launch in 2024

Potential Upgrades

While the release of the new Model Y may be about a year out in North America – there is a chance that the updated Model Y Juniper could show up with Hardware 5 sensors and computers. Elon Musk estimated that HW5, now dubbed AI5 was about 12-18 months away from production. The new Model Y could be the vehicle that debuts the new FSD package.

Of course, all of the rest of the upgrades that came with the updated Model 3 will all likely come to the Model Y – a new front and rear fascia, new adaptive headlights, increased range, ambient lighting, new colors, new speakers, and better dynamics in general. Package all of that up with what was already the best-selling car in 2023, and we’ve got a hit on our hands.

Musk Confirms Tesla FSD V12.5 Is Being Tested on Chuck’s Turn

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Yesterday, Elon Musk confirmed that FSD V12.5 is being tested on Chuck’s Unprotected Left Turn. This is a big step – as we usually see Chuck’s UPL getting tested a few weeks or months before the release of another set of software.

Chuck’s Left Turn

Chuck’s Unprotected Left Turn, or UPL, has regularly been seen as a challenge for FSD. Chuck’s UPL is a complex, 2-stage unprotected left turn into high-speed traffic. Ever since 2022, Tesla has been testing on Chuck’s UPL, which is in Jacksonville, Florida.

Vehicles are intersecting from different sides at different portions of the turn, making it one that is truly difficult for both humans and for FSD to get right. It can be a difficult challenge for regular drivers, and ensuring FSD gets it right every time Tesla releases a new build seems to have become a bit of a tradition for Tesla.

As such, we generally see Chuck’s UPL getting tested by Tesla’s ADAS testers prior to a new build being prepared for release to employees. These ADAS testers are pretty obvious – they’ve got manufacturer plates on, and the telltale 2-second halt at stop signs.

FSD V12.5 Around the Corner?

Although Tesla is already testing FSD 12.5, it doesn’t necessarily mean that v12.5 is around the corner just yet – there are still plenty of users that still need to receive FSD v12.4.3 before Tesla jumps to v12.5. About 20-25% of FSD users now have FSD 12.4.3, but most are still on update 2024.14.9 with FSD 12.3.6.

FSD v12.5 is expected to begin features such as fleet communication and the merger of city and highway software stacks, to FSD.

What we’re seeing in Florida on Chuck’s turn (Tesla refers to Chuck Cook in release notes) is likely just the ADAS testers working on the early builds of v12.5. As such, don’t get too wrapped up around v12.5 – most are still waiting for nag-free FSD for the most part.

Tesla Update 2024.26.1: Changes and More Information About Tesla's Summer Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has been preparing another large update with its upcoming 2024.26, but as Tesla gets ready to release it to customers, it looks like we may see some changes. We’ve previously called this the Summer Update, and we’re going to stick with that.

Leave your Spring umbrella behind, and grab some sunglasses (or not, if you have FSD in North America) and let’s take a look at update 2024.26.1.

YouTube Music

It looks like YouTube Music, which was being tested in update 2024.26, isn’t available in 2024.26.1. YouTube may have been in early stages of testing or Tesla found some bugs with the feature that need to be addressed before a public release.

YouTube Music is still coming, but right now it looks like it’ll arrive in a point-release update, (e.g. 2024.26.X). This way, at least all the other features will arrive for everyone, rather than delaying the entire release for a few bugs with YouTube Music.

While we’re sad to see the delay for this music app, this is exactly why Tesla tests things in advance with their QA team and fleet of wave 1 employees. We’ll be glad to see it arrive in our cars when its bug-free, and at least we’re still getting Amazon Music with update 2024.26.1.

Updated Climate Panel

There’s a new Climate screen in update 2024.26, however, it looks like it’ll be just for the Model 3 and Model Y initially. The Model S and Model X use practically the same interface, but it may need some adjustments for the larger screen before it’s released. It’s not clear whether it’ll be available for the Cybertruck out of the gate.

We haven’t seen any images of the updated climate panel yet, but it looks like it’ll be a drastic departure from the screen we know today. It’s expected to include options to automate preheating and precooling of the vehicle on certain days and times and it could make other options more intuitive such as turning off vents on the passenger side (tap and hold the airwaves, but only works on some vehicles).

Other often requested features are to make it easier to turn on the Keep Climate, Dog Mode, and Camp Mode options when the vehicle is put into park.

Many customers have also requested passenger presets so the vehicle could remember settings for different passengers. This could be used for features like passenger climate settings, seat position, seat heater and more, but instead of multiple passenger settings, we may see Tesla add Passenger Profiles that could be used for a wide variety of features. Back in 2021, Musk agreed that it would be a good addition.

Castle Doombad Classic

One addition we saw from update 2024.26 to 2024.26.1 was the addition of the full Castle Doombad Classic game. Castle Doombad has you play as the villain as you defend your castle, but it’s only available on AMD Ryzen-based vehicles (MCU 3). It was released in the 2023 Christmas update and with this 2024.26.1 update the game goes from a demo to the full classic game.

Weather Forecasting

Finally, the Weather Forecast app – a pop-out display when you tap the temperature reading – will be arriving with support for North America, Europe, and other regions. Likely, this will include most regions, but you’ll need to shell out for Premium Connectivity.

The AQI (Air Quality Indicator) is already available in China and should be available in most regions as well, but it will also require Premium Connectivity. You can read more about the weather and AQI features here.

Release Date

Tesla appears close to starting the public release of this 2024.26.1 update. Tesla has recently released major versions (like 2024.26) to employees only and then released a bug fix update as a point release before making it available publicly.

Update 2024.26.1

FSD Supervised 12.3.6
Installed on 0% of fleet
0 Installs today
Last updated: Jul 16, 5:20 am UTC

We could see Tesla release 2024.26.1 as early as this week if further issues aren’t identified, although, in typical Tesla fashion, it’ll be a very gradual release.

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