Tesla opens up Superchargers to other manufacturers. Will other cars clog up Superchargers?

By Henry Farkas

Elon Musk informed Norwegian officials that Tesla plans to open its supercharger network to other electric cars in September of 2022.

You might worry that millions of other electric cars are going to start clogging up the Supercharger sites here in the US. Don’t worry yet.

First of all, Tesla has sold most of the electric cars that can accommodate D/C fast chargers anyway. And secondly, it’s not anywhere near as easy in the US. In Europe, all the Teslas are equipped with a CCS charging port.

Tesla CCS chargeport

So the Superchargers in Europe are already physically compatible with other brands of electric cars in Europe. I’m confident that Tesla will make sure that they’re adequately compensated for charging the other cars so that the income can be applied to increasing the number of Superchargers and maintaining the ones already in service.

Here in the US, Teslas use the proprietary Tesla connector for home charging and supercharging. So far, no one makes an adapter capable of allowing a Tesla Supercharger to charge a car with a CCS or CHADEMO D/C fast charger. There’s no point in making one since a Tesla Supercharger will refuse to charge any car that’s not on its own network. That also goes for wrecked Teslas that have been rebuilt. Once a Tesla is marked as no longer in service, it’s deleted from the Tesla network, and Superchargers won’t recognize it or charge it up. You can use level two charging on a wrecked and rebuilt Tesla, but a Tesla loses a lot of its utility if you can’t supercharge it.

Conversely, Tesla sometimes sells an adapter that allows you to use a CHADEMO D/C fast charger to charge up a Tesla. I say sometimes because I tried to buy one from the Tesla store earlier today. I was told that it’s out of stock, but that they’ll email me if they get any more in stock. It’s a bit pricey, but considering that it transmits a lot of electric current and that it has to work in all kinds of weather, heat, rain, snow, ice, it’s understandable that it will be costly. There may come a time when I’m low on electrons and closer to an Electrify America car charging site than to a Tesla Supercharger. So I want to have one of these adapters in my trunk. Oddly, the Tesla store does sell two rather expensive Tesla to J1772 adapters even though a less expensive one comes included with each Tesla. Those adapters work only with level 2 chargers.

Looking toward the future, I can see a possibility that Tesla may want to open up the United States Supercharger network to other electric vehicles, but they’ll have to either sell adapters themselves or license the patent for the proprietary Tesla adapter Supercharger system so that other companies can make the adapter. The adapters would need to connect a Tesla Supercharger to a CHADEMO or CCS equipped automobile. There would need to be appropriate compensation to Tesla so that the network could keep growing and continue supplying electricity.

Frankly, I look forward to the day when there are plenty of places where electric cars can recharge at D/C fast chargers, and all cars can use all recharging stations.

Tesla Is Removing Steam Gaming in New Model S and Model X Vehicles

By Karan Singh

Tesla is no longer including Steam support in any of its newer Model S and Model X vehicles, according to messages received by customers who are awaiting deliveries of the flagship vehicles.

Tesla previously introduced the Steam beta to newer versions of the Model S and Model X refreshes which had 16GB of RAM as part of the 2022 Holiday Update. This update didn’t support slightly older vehicles with only 8GB of RAM, but a retrofit was available for $2,000 USD.

Tesla No Longer Supporting Dedicated GPUs?

The Cybertruck also did not receive a dedicated graphic processing unit (GPU), with many people noting that they did not have access to Steam on their Foundation-series Cybertrucks and GreenTheOnly later confirmed the Cybertruck did not include a GPU. The Cybertruck also shipped with only 8GB of RAM, matching the Model 3 and Model Y MCU 3 versions based on AMD Ryzen chips.

This could be an indication that Tesla is phasing out the GPUs, as well as the larger RAM packages that came bundled with their top-end vehicles, likely due to cost-cutting, hardware streamlining, and optimization.

Tesla is removing Steam support on newer vehicles
Tesla is removing Steam support on newer vehicles
Randall

Future of Steam Support

While the AMD Ryzen RDNA-2 APUs that are built into every Tesla MCU are quite powerful and very capable of rendering 3D or 2D graphics when in mobile configurations, there has been a distinct lack of Steam support on other vehicles, due to the 8GB of RAM.

Given the removal of GPUs from the flagship vehicles, there is also a chance that the RAM on newer Model S and X vehicles will also be facing a reduction similar to the Cybertruck. The Steam Beta could very well be on its way out.

The other possible alternative would be an updated Steam Beta that supports 8GB of RAM, and does not require a powerful GPU, as people may not do too much hardcore gaming on their vehicles.

Gaming Alternatives

Some gaming applications still live on in Tesla’s Arcade Mode, including the ever-popular Cuphead, Sky Force Reload, and Vampire Survivors. We previously discussed Tesla’s lack of Google Casting and Apple Airplay, but a fantastic alternative would be providing HDMI pass-through support on the Glovebox USB-C port.

Imagine being able to connect your phone to Tesla’s displays and gaming on a much larger 19” screen (screen size comparison) as seen on the Cybertruck.

The Future of Tesla Compute

Elon Musk mentioned in the 2024 Tesla Earnings Call that the unused compute power of Tesla vehicles not being driven was equivalent to a larger computing system like Amazon’s AWS. One idea floated by Musk was to use the computers of parked vehicles to conduct inference, data processing, and other tasks – selling the compute capabilities of vehicles to external organizations, while also paying back the owner.

Tesla Releases FSD v12.4: New Vision Attention Monitoring, Improved Strike System With Update 2024.9.5

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla has just rolled out its latest FSD software, v12.4 to employees. Elon Musk announced that this update would be available to employees this past weekend, with plans to release it to the public in small numbers later this week.

Surprisingly, the new update is version 2024.9.5, which is likely based on the earlier 2024.8 branch and not Tesla's latest 2024.14. The spring update (2024.14) brings various new features such as a new media player, a new parked visualization, Audible support, and a Preview of Sentry Mode events, among others.

However, FSD v12.4 brings its own excitement with two new major changes.

Vision-Based Attention Monitoring

The release notes show a new Vision-Based Attention Monitoring feature that replaces the steering wheel nag as Musk previously mentioned.

However, as we predicted, Tesla will still leverage the steering wheel to detect attentiveness when the cabin camera is inconclusive.

The car can only rely on the vehicle's cabin camera, and therefore remove the steering wheel nag under certain conditions:

  • the camera is not occluded

  • there is sufficient lighting

  • the driver is looking forward

  • the driver is not wearing sunglasses

  • the driver is not wearing a low-brim hat or another object that covers their eyes

If any of these situations occur, or if the vehicle doesn't have a cabin camera, then the vehicle will continue to use the steering wheel to determine driver attention.

Tesla is careful to state that images and video from the cabin camera are not saved or transmitted unless you enable data sharing.

Updated Strike System

With FSD v12.4, Tesla has also updated its Autopilot Suspension feature which is designed to enforce the responsible use of FSD.

The current system lets the driver receive up to five strikes (three strikes for vehicles without a cabin camera) before Autopilot and FSD become unavailable. If that happens, then FSD is unavailable for one week. Strikes are only removed once the driver has accrued five strikes, or when Tesla wipes out strikes for everyone, which happens about twice a year.

The new system is more gracious about removing strikes. The vehicle will continue to issue strikes whenever the driver isn't paying attention, however, now the vehicle will gradually remove strikes for the driver after a certain period of time.

Tesla states that one strike will be removed for each 7-day period the driver goes without receiving a strike. So if FSD gets disabled due to strikes, the driver will still go one week without FSD, although now strikes are removed on an ongoing basis. This new strike system is expected to apply to vehicles with and without a cabin camera.

Other New Features

Other new features are expected in FSD 12.4 as well, which we outlined in our look at Tesla's FSD v12.4 article.

They include a focus on improved driver comfort by reducing the amount of hard braking, automatically seeking a parking spot when arriving at a destination and more. Driver interventions are also expected to be drastically reduced with Musk stating that Tesla expects to see a 5-10x improvement in interventions.

Eligibility

Unfortunately, due to FSD v12.4 being on branch 2024.9, it's expected to only be available to owners on update 2024.8 and below, which includes everyone currently on update 2024.3.25.

If no major issues are found with FSD v12.4, we could see it start to roll out to the public later this week.

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