Tesla had it's Q3 earnings call and as usual there were some interesting tidbits to come out of this call outside of Tesla's financial information.
Tesla's current goal is to manufacture over a million vehicles in a given year. Toward the end of Q3 they reached an annualized production rate that exceeded 1 million. If Tesla can continue the trend then they will be able to achieve their goal of a million vehicles produced in a year. This does not account for its Texas and Berlin Giga factories which will only help increase their manufacturing rates.
The goal is to get Tesla producing millions of vehicles per year with the addition of Texas and Berlin Giga factories and longer-term Tesla's goal is to produce 20 million vehicles yearly.
The new Model X has started production and is ramping up.
4680 Cell Batteries
The future for Tesla is its 4680 structural battery packs. Tesla said that they're testing the batteries and aim to have testing completed this year, although there could be some unknowns. Tesla expects to have the first vehicles with 4680 batteries early next year.
This is great news for Tesla as the 4680 cells offer improved battery density and other efficiencies while also reducing the weight of the vehicle. Having 4680 cells available early next year is a pleasant surprise as most were not expecting Tesla to be as far along as they are regarding these batteries.
Tesla is not looking to add any new vehicles to their production lines right now. There is a large Tesla backlog that is continuing to grow so the focus right now is on manufacturing current vehicles and meeting demand. The next vehicles produced will be the Cybertruck, new Roadster and the Tesla Semi.
Best Selling Vehicles
Tesla announced that the Model 3 is currently the best selling premium sedan worldwide. The Model Y is poised to be the best selling vehicle in the world.
Texas and Berlin Giga Factories
Tesla's new factories are nearing completion. They are close to starting production of vehicles.
Although the first produced vehicles for these factories will be this year, we should not expect any deliveries from these new factories until 2022.
The hardest work is ahead and ramping these factories up to 5k and then 10k vehicles. They will start off by producing current vehicles and Texas Gigafactory will then add on the Cybertruck.
Both Texas and Giga factories were built to have room to expand.
Safety Score and Tesla Insurance
The Safety Score started off as a way to produce insurance in California. Tesla has found that providing their own insurance based on actual driver metrics is a great way to lower the overall cost of a Tesla.
Tesla introduced Tesla Insurance into Texas and is seeing good growth there. Their goal is to offer Tesla Insurance in every market that Tesla sells in. It'll be a slow process since each state needs to be approved individually.
The Safety Score has been working really well and it's something Tesla wants to continue developing and improving.
There are 150,000 cars that are using Safety Score right now for the FSD Beta. They have racked up 100 million miles of driving already in the last month.
Tesla is also noticing huge decreases in the probability of an accident. A customer who uses the Safety Score has a 30% lower chance of being involved in an accident.
Tesla continues to view Superchargers as a necessity and will continue to rapidly expand them. The Supercharging network has doubled in the last 18 months and Tesla plans to triple it over the next couple of years.
Sometimes stations can become clogged but Tesla is actively working on improving congestions beyond just increasing the amount of chargers available.
Tesla vehicles are becoming smarter when choosing where and when to charge. When your car chooses to stop at a Supercharger in order for you to get to your destination, it will now take into account the real time usage of nearby Superchargers so that it can navigate you to one with lower usage.
Tesla has also been rolling out updates to reduce the amount of time each car needs to spend at a Supercharger. This includes warming up the batteries when you're on-route to a Supercharger which will let you charge faster than if your battery was colder.
The car is also better at determining exactly how much you need to charge before you can reach your destination which reduces customer wait time and congestion of the Supercharger as well.
Tesla continues to roll out more v3, 250Kw chargers. These chargers when coupled with some of Tesla's newest batteries allow much faster charging, allowing cars to spend last time at Superchargers.
Tesla says that it's still early to tell how well their FSD subscription is doing but they have not noticed a decrease in the buy rate for the FSD package as that remains a better value.
However they have noticed that more owners are willing to try out FSD by buying a subscription, which introduces them to what is available with FSD.
As Tesla's FSD matures and the FSD beta comes more widely available, Tesla expects additional revenue to come from the FSD subscription.
Ability to Transfer FSD to Another Vehicle
Tesla does not plan to offer this, but what they did say is that if you trade your car to Tesla they will give you more for a car that has FSD when compared to one that doesn't. That value can then be applied to a new Tesla.
Tesla is viewing this as a sort of transfer of FSD since you won't lose everything you paid for and could use that additional value to be applied to the next vehicle's FSD package.
The Cybertruck is on track to launch late next year. There are various alpha trucks being tested now with various features. Tesla mentioned that the alphas have been spotted on social media. The Cybertruck we saw recently with side mirrors and slight modifications appears to be one of these alphas.
Tesla confirmed again that the Cybertruck will have rear steering. Tesla is testing these various alphas to mature the design of the truck. There are a number of smaller or less visible improvements that have been made to the truck.
Why Service is Slow
Tesla is aware that service has been bogged down and slower than normal. They attribute this to the sudden return to normalcy, where demand for service has increased due to many customers holding off on services during the pandemic. Parts are sometimes slower to get as well due to the global shortage.
Tesla expects both of these issues to clear up over time.
They reiterated that the best service is no service. Tesla continues to increase build quality and provide pre-emptive warnings for service so that customers have a sudden need for service. For example, the car will let you know if your 12-volt battery is providing lower voltages than expected so that you can have it looked at before it becomes critical.
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This week we take a look at Tesla's upcoming update, 2023.20, Tesla's improvements to Autowipers and its latest app update
Join us as we take a look back at this week's top Tesla stories. From an early look at the features included in Tesla's upcoming 2023.20 software update, to Tesla's latest app update, we dive into the top stories of the week.
An Early Look at Tesla's 2023.20 Update and Its Features
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20
Preparations are underway for Tesla's next software update, version 2023.20. Although currently in testing, this update has been drawing attention since it was first noticed last week. Considering Tesla's 2023.12 update brought numerous new features, it appears this next may be smaller. However, we now have our first look at some of the features included in Tesla's 2023.20 update.
A noteworthy improvement under the upcoming update pertains to tire service tracking. Post-update, vehicle owners can track how many miles have been driven since their last tire service.
Tesla Updates App to v4.21.5, Adds New Loot Box, Referral Rewards and References New Features
Tesla has updated its app to 4.21.5
Not a Tesla App
This week Tesla updated their iPhone app to version 4.21.5. The updated features include a new Loot Box design and a notice to Canadians using their Superchargers. Tesla also hints at several upcoming features including Boombom v2.
Tesla's Model Y With Hardware 4.0 Doesn't Include Radar: We Take a Look at Why
Tesla's Model Y with HW4 is coming without radar
As Tesla continues to redefine the automotive industry, insiders have revealed that the company's upcoming Hardware 4.0 (HW4) will not include the radar module in its Model Y vehicles, at least not initially. This marks a shift in the company's approach towards autonomous driving, relying more heavily on vision-based systems. This strategic decision builds on the recent introduction of HW4 in the luxury Model S and Model X models.
Previously, the integration of HD radar in the Model S and Model X indicated an evolution in the company's Full Self-Driving (FSD) hardware.
Tesla Reduces FSD Beta Suspension Duration With FSD Beta 11.4.2
Tesla has reduced the FSD suspension to one week with FSD Beta 11.4.2
Tesla is again modifying the Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta suspension policy. Initially, the system, which is based on a strike policy, suspended users until Tesla reset strikes globally, which ranged from about every three to nine months. The driver has up to three strikes for vehicles without a cabin camera and five for those equipped with them.
More recently Tesla changed their policy to reset FSD suspensions on an individual basis after "approximately two weeks," according to Tesla. But with the introduction of FSD Beta 11.4.2, Tesla has now reduced the suspension interval from two weeks to approximately one week.
Tesla and Ford Forge New Partnership: Ford To Incorporate Tesla Charge Port (NACS) in Future EVs
Ford will add a Tesla (NACS) port to its future EVs
In a move that attests to Elon Musk's words on fostering industry collaboration over competition, Tesla and Ford have announced a partnership to enable the latter's electric vehicles access to Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.
Contrary to earlier speculations that Tesla's move to open its proprietary charging connector might be a futile attempt at standardization, Ford has embraced the North American Charging Standard (NACS) - Tesla's charging system. With this, Tesla’s charging plug design, known for some advantages over the current CCS standard, might start gaining traction across the North American EV sector.
Tesla Upgrades Autowipers to v4, Musk Apologizes for Poor Performance
FSD Beta 11.4.2 introduces Autowipers v4
For Tesla owners, the auto wiper system has been a contentious feature. Loved by some for its attempt at autonomous convenience yet criticized by others for its hit-or-miss performance, the system has often had trouble with extreme light conditions or misty weather. Now, Tesla has introduced v4 of their autowipers system that aims to correct past issues and enhance the user experience.
Tesla to Deliver Cars at 50% Charge, Offers 150km Free Supercharging
Tesla will now give owners a 150km Supercharger credit
Tesla has recently come up with a new way of doing things when it comes to delivering cars. The company claims this change has been made to align with some new rules in the industry. In the past, Tesla always delivered cars with a full charge. Now, they are to be delivered with only half charge.
When electric vehicles are being transported from one place to another, having them fully charged can pose a risk. Keeping the state of charge (SOC) at 50% during shipment reduces the chances of battery fires. This practice is not new. Other battery-operated devices, like e-bikes, are also shipped at a lower SOC for the same safety reasons.
Tesla Model 3 Refresh Reveal Rumors Coincide with Elon Musk's China Visit
Is Tesla getting ready to unveil the refreshed Model 3?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent visit to China, his first in three years, has set the stage for widespread conjecture around the unveiling of the revamped Tesla Model 3. Dubbed Project Highland, this model refresh has been a topic of discussion for some time. Industry insiders believe Musk's significant stop at the Shanghai Gigafactory might be strategically timed to coincide with a potential sneak peek of the new Model 3 design.
Tesla Screen Size Comparison for All Tesla Models, Including Size, Resolution and Aspect Ratio
A good view of all the displays available in a Model S
Tesla is a pioneer in the automotive industry, and one of the most defining features of its vehicles is the use of large touchscreens. These screens are a central hub for most vehicle functions, including music, vehicle settings, navigation, and more. Tesla's commitment to a minimalist and user-friendly design is evident through integrating these screens, which have become iconic in electric vehicles.
Between 2012 and 2020, the Model S and Model X were equipped with vertical screens, which stood out due to their impressive size and orientation.
NHTSA closes its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature, stating it will not pursue a recall of the scrutinized vehicles. Passenger Play allowed passengers in the vehicle to play certain games like the Sky Force Reloaded while the vehicle was in motion. Tesla was quick to respond to NHTSA's concerns and issued an update that requires the vehicle to be in park before games can be launched.
The closure of the probe comes amidst continuing concerns over the potential for driver distraction.
Investigation Ends, Still Leaves Room for Future Actions
While NHTSA's conclusion signifies a milestone in Tesla's ongoing scrutiny, it does not entirely absolve the electric vehicle maker. The administration emphasized that the end of the investigation does not mean a safety-related defect doesn't exist. Furthermore, the NHTSA's decision opens the possibility for future action if additional concerns arise.
NHTSA's apprehensions were primarily rooted in Tesla's decision to allow video games to be played on the front center touchscreen of the vehicle while in motion. Having acknowledged these concerns, Tesla voluntarily took action by disabling the 'Passenger Play' feature through an over-the-air software update soon after NHTSA launched its investigation in December 2021.
Tesla's Voluntary Disabling of Feature Commended
The administration confirmed that Tesla reported a 97% completion rate of the software update disabling 'Passenger Play', within a month of its release. The agency lauded Tesla's swift action, which showcased a responsible approach toward ensuring driver safety and mitigating distractions. This action appeared to significantly address NHTSA's concerns, as the agency cited the importance of "affirmative technology-based lockouts" as more effective than merely using labels or disclaimer screens.
Ongoing Scrutiny of Tesla's Autopilot System
Despite the conclusion of this specific probe, Tesla remains under the lens of the NHTSA, which is currently investigating Autopilot. The investigation, covering approximately 830,000 Tesla vehicles, aims to understand better human factors concerning Tesla interfaces and the dynamic driving task.
A History of Safety First
Tesla has always portrayed itself as an automaker that prioritizes safety. From advanced driver assist systems to top-tier safety ratings, the electric car manufacturer has consistently sought to revolutionize transportation safety norms. The swift action in disabling the controversial 'Passenger Play' feature further underscores the company's commitment to road safety and user well-being.
Tesla’s case serves as a potent reminder for all automakers that in-vehicle infotainment devices must balance entertainment and safety. In 2014, the NHTSA issued guidelines encouraging automakers to design in-vehicle devices so the driver can’t use them to perform inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving. As the lines between automobiles and technology blur, the importance of these guidelines will only grow.
Although the 'Passenger Play' investigation has concluded, Tesla’s journey with the NHTSA is far from over. The ongoing probe into Tesla’s Autopilot system indicates that the auto giant will remain under close watch to ensure the highest levels of safety for users and fellow road users alike.
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