Tesla's FSD hardware 4.0 to use cameras with LED flicker mitigation

By Nuno Cristovao

At Tesla's AI Day event last summer, Elon answered some questions during the Q&A portion of the event that revealed Tesla's plans for FSD hardware.

Elon informally announced that Tesla is already researching the next major hardware revision for full self-driving.

Tesla's camera housing
Tesla's camera housing

Elon said that he expects the current hardware in today's vehicles to be capable of "super-human" driving, but Tesla will continue to update their cars to have the most powerful hardware available.

Elon guessed that Tesla may release FSD hardware 4.0 with the introduction of the Cybertruck. Since the Cybertruck won't be released until the end of this year at the earliest, we may even see new hardware before its arrival, although this is unlikely.

In another question related to new hardware, Elon also said that Tesla is looking into new cameras. He was clear that the current cameras aren't a hindrance, but if Tesla can do better, then they will.

Elon didn't go into details about whether the new cameras would be tied to the Cybertruck or hardware 4.0. He also didn't mention specifically whether the new cameras would be higher resolution, contain larger sensors, or possibly even be placed in different locations.

Tesla currently utilizes three separate front-facing cameras in the housing at the top of the windshield. The camera unit contains wide-angle, standard, and narrow view lenses with three separate CMOS sensors.

Each sensor has a resolution of 1280x960 or about 1.2 megapixels.

New Camera

According to Chris Zheng on Twitter, who has connections with some Tesla suppliers, Tesla is planning to use Sony's new IMX490 automotive sensor in their upcoming hardware 4.0 revision.

Wide-angle camera comparison
Wide-angle camera comparison

This new sensor offers many benefits over the current sensors that Tesla uses in their vehicles.

The new sensors support a much higher resolution of 2896x1876. That's 5.4 megapixels compared to the 1.2 megapixels that Tesla's current front-facing cameras support.

At more than four times the resolution of current sensors, these new sensors will allow Tesla to more accurately detect objects that are required for FSD.

Detecting road edges and lane markings that are further away are especially difficult. Due to the angle of the road and the current image resolution, Tesla often has to make assumptions based on just a few pixels.

The increased resolution will offer a more detailed image and should improve the accuracy in these situations.

The new wide-angle sensor may also allow Tesla to drop the number of cameras used in the front-facing module. Due to the higher resolution in these sensors, Tesla may be able to use this wide-angle sensor to interpret objects that previously required the use of the standard or telephoto lenses before. This may allow Tesla to reduce the number of cameras that are required in the front of the vehicle from three down to two or even a single lens.

The new camera sensor also supports HDR shooting at 10 bit and 40 FPS, offering better contrast and richer colors. It's not clear whether Tesla would take advantage of HDR as it would require more power to process, but it's something Tesla may consider depending on the compute power available.

LED flicker mitigation
LED flicker mitigation

More importantly, the new sensor will also support LED flicker mitigation. Camera sensors often have a hard time capturing the light emitted from LED lights in a constant fashion. Since LEDs are widely used in electronic signs and traffic lights this will be an important feature and should make it easier for Tesla to interpret such signs.

Tesla is working closely with Samsung to produce their next-generation chips that will be used in FSD hardware 4.0. Tesla will likely launch updated cameras at the same time they introduce a new FSD computer.

It makes sense for Tesla to introduce this new hardware in a new model first before retrofitting new camera modules into existing models.

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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