Images of Tesla's v11 Software Release

By Nuno Cristovao

Over the past few years Tesla has released a major version of their car's software every year (v10 update, v9 update). This year we have been anticipating version 11. Elon Musk has teased it several times and has said that it will include features we've been wanting and features we didn't know we wanted.

The past few Tesla releases have been unusual and have only contained minor changes and bug fixes as Tesla appears to be keeping features in v11 hidden.

The anticipation has been building and now it looks like v11 has been leaked on a redesigned Model S test vehicle.

A major focus of this release appears to be personalization. When examining the UI, a lot of the elements appear to be customizable, where a user could possibly choose which icons or apps they'd like to show up. Elon Musk has previously tweeted that Tesla would allow multiple layouts in the future. He could have been hinting at these features in v11.

In the first image we can see this new tile-like interface, where you will presumingly be able to select which tiles you'd like to appear. For example, you may choose to have Music, Car Visualizations, Maps, Calendar, Energy Graph and many others. It'll be interesting to see how many choices Tesla really offers here and how they adapt this to other vehicles.

When we take a closer look at the bottom bar which normally houses a consistent car navigation and is the main way to get to climate controls, seat heaters and other apps, it looks like this will also become customizable. From the image we can see that the nav no longer takes up the full width of the screen and that in this image the seat heaters are right next to one another, which is very different from what Tesla has offered in the past.

There are now many apps and features in Tesla vehicles where some of them now require multiple taps to get to, and making this navigation customizable makes a lot of sense. For example if a user relies on the Phone app heavily, they will now be able to access it with one-tap instead of two. Like-wise, if you don't live in a cold climate, it's almost silly to have seat heaters and the rear window defroster take up multiple spaces in this prime real estate area.

We have recently seen buttons removed or moved around in recent updates. One such example is that the Voice Commands button has been removed and is currently only accessible through the buttons on the steering wheel, leaving the passenger without a way to use voice commands. We expect this button to return with v11.

The former top strip which contained car information and quick actions such as the time, Bluetooth, HomeLink and other functions have been moved and appear as a vertical strip on the left side of the screen.

It looks like right beneath this, we will see another big feature which appears to be a "Quick Menu," which will allow you to access the car's most often used features. Upon tapping it you will be presented with quick-function buttons such as lock car, open frunk, open glove box, display brightness, mirror and steering wheel adjustments and others.

Some of these features were fairly accessible before, but others required digging through the Car Controls menu, so this should make changing some settings much quicker. There doesn't appear to be a clear indication in this menu, but given the same square tile-like buttons, we would also expect these tiles to be customizable.

We also get a quick-peek at some of the other car menus. It looks like this particular version of the car (remember this is a refreshed Model S, but unclear whether it's Plaid or not), will also feature a "Drag Strip Mode." It's not clear which models this will apply to but it appears to be a new launch control system.

Continuing looking at this menu, a few other things stick out. We can see there is an option for "Smart Shift," which will allow the car to shift into drive or reverse for you. We knew this feature would be included in the refreshed Model S / X, but it's certainly possible that Tesla will bring this feature to all existing AP 2+ vehicles. We wouldn't necessarily expect it, but it's certainly possible. We also recently discovered how this feature will work.

We also see that there is a new option to turn on/off "Media on Drive," which gives you control whether you'd like the media player to automatically open when you put the car into drive.

The menu on the left looks very familiar with some minor changes. We no longer have the Quick Settings option at the top, which the Quick Menu from the home screen seems to have replaced. We also see a new "Trips," tab, which could be for more precise navigation settings, and possibly allowing for multi-stop destinations (way-points), which Elon Musk said was coming last September.

There are sure to be many more features included in this huge v11 release, but these are the major features we can see looking through these few images.

Some of these features will be slightly different on other vehicles as Tesla has to adapt them to work on a vertical screen for previous Model S / X vehicles and also make adjustments for the Model 3 / Y which need to include car visualizations on the main display.

We are all super excited for this highly anticipated release which appears to focus heavily on personalization.

In 2019 Tesla released v10, which included many new features such as Tesla Theater and many others. You can view the full list of v10 features here. The year before Tesla released v9 that contained major updates such as Navigate on Autopilot, Dashcam and many others as well.

From what we have seen so far, v11 appears to be just a feature packed. We can not wait.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
Not a Tesla App

At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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