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.

Why Tesla Doesn't Need a Public Relations Department

By Kevin Armstrong
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Tesla

Tesla is a regular in the news cycle; if it's not about the vehicle, it's about the CEO. It's no secret Tesla stock is down, and investors who are long on the stock have lost a considerable amount over the past month. One of those investors is Gary Black, the Future Fund managing partner, who said in August that Tesla is the fund's largest position. Black is calling on Tesla to hire a public relations department to inform the media and the public of the positives around the brand.

Oddly enough, at the shareholders' event in August, Black said, "the thing we worry about most is not PR; it's succession." Now it seems that is what Black is worried about. He recently tweeted: People can't complain about the media if TSLA refuses to correct articles that are wrong, or worse, won't maintain relationships with TSLA beat reporters and editors so they can get TSLA's POV out when needed. Strong PR will be needed to sell FSD safety. Think long-term.

Black's stance may be understandable to some, especially those who have watched their trading account shrink, but it's implausible because Tesla doesn't need a PR department.

Musk and the Mainstream Media Don't Mix

Musk is currently using his new company to hold mainstream media accountable. In case you missed it, he's releasing the Twitter Files, a detailed report backed up with real emails to show suppression of true stories.

The Tesla CEO also regularly calls out media outlets for false stories, misleading headlines and biased reporting. Musk will not hire a team to try to steer newsrooms, something he has so little respect for, and it's unlikely legacy media outlets will listen.

Media Biased Against Tesla

Bad news generates more views and clicks and keeps the advertisers paying. Even when the news isn't bad, take, for example, a recent Reliability Report by Consumer Reports. Most, if not all, mainstream media declared Tesla as the terrible one, even though Tesla moved up four spots from the previous year. It was hard to find a mention of the manufacturers that scored less. Those included Chevrolet, GMC, Volkswagen, Jeep, and Mercedes Benz. Yes, the expensive luxury brand was dead last in reliability. That is a story.

Reporters also picked up that electric vehicles scored low for reliability. Consumer Reports said it was because EVs are new on the market. However, scoring even lower were full-sized pickups. Those have been on the market for quite a bit longer.

Tesla, which also has not spent a dime on advertising, disbanded its public relations department in 2020. That's unheard of by a company its size, especially in the automotive sector. However, Tesla and Elon have something much better — you are reading it right now. Not a Tesla App is one of several blog sites that publish news about Tesla daily. Many of these websites have writers who own Teslas. The stories are much more accurate, positive and just plain better than anything readers will find in the mainstream. Who says bias must be negative?

Word of Mouth Advertising

Now add hundreds, maybe even thousands of loyal enthusiasts who defend and promote Tesla on social media platforms. Next, throw into the mix the hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners who quite often are spokespeople for the company whenever they get out of the car. I've been sure to add 10 minutes of travel time to my drives because I'm likely to get asked some questions at the grocery store or car wash.

This kind of advertising money cannot buy, and it's the kind of positive publicity media will not share. So while Black's concerns are legitimate, a PR department is not the solution. Instead, Tesla needs to keep doing what it's been doing and let the product, its fans and the Tesla-inspired websites do the rest.

More About Tesla’s WiFi Garage Door Support, Its Cost and Features

By Nuno Cristovao
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
MyQ

Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.

Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.

Vehicles Supported

MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.

Cost

Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.

The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.

Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.

However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.

Integration

The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.

On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.

On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.

You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.

If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.

The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.

The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.

MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

Tesla News

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.