Tesla now dynamically resizes vehicle models in latest FSD Beta

By Nuno Cristovao

Tesla's early FSD Betas included driving visualizations that used simple wireframe boxes to represent vehicles and lane markings were made up of individual dots.

Tesla adds scalable vehicle models to the latest FSD Beta
Tesla adds scalable vehicle models to the latest FSD Beta

The visualizations were a great look into some of the information that is provided to Autopilot, but even then only a fraction of the information Autopilot uses was actually displayed onscreen.

In reality, Autopilot is creating a 3D representation of every object it tracks. Each object detected then has various attributes. For example, a detected vehicle will have attributes for how fast it's going, how far away it is, the type of vehicle, its predicted path, and more.

Tesla's visualizations in early FSD Betas
Tesla's visualizations in early FSD Betas

The car visualizations are an important part of FSD because they help us better understand what the car is capable of seeing and reacting to. However, the information and visualization Autopilot needs is drastically different than what humans need.

In order for Tesla to achieve FSD, they essentially need to be able to build a highly accurate video game that represents the real world, in real-time.

The car wants access to as much information about each object as possible. Meanwhile, humans want a visualization that closely resembles the real world.

With the introduction of FSD Betas 9.x, Tesla released a more human consumable visualization. One that included proper 3D models of general vehicle types, road pylons, and solid lane markers.

The road edges and lane markings are more distinguished lines, 3D models have working brake lights, and other objects such as speed bumps, bike lanes, and crosswalks are depicted using visualizations that match the real world.

In order for Tesla to achieve FSD, they essentially need to be able to build a highly accurate video game that represents the real world, in real-time.

However, something that has been missing is visualizations is dynamic vehicle sizing. The 3D vehicle models that Tesla has been using have a static size. When the vehicle sees a bus, it calculates its length, width, and height in addition to a bunch of other metrics. However, the 3D model that is shown onscreen is a predefined size, meaning that it does not actually match what the vehicle saw.

This is why you may have seen a tractor-trailer shift forward and backward or you may have seen two vehicles on top of each other. One is signifying the start of the vehicle and since the vehicle is so much longer than the model, it's adding another vehicle to the end to signify the end of the vehicle.

Scalable Vehicle Models

However, in the latest 10.10.2 FSD update, we are now seeing Tesla scale individual vehicle models so that they represent the calculated size of surrounding vehicles. Contextually this could be helpful in better understanding our car’s situation in the world.

In 10.10.2, the car shrinks or stretches the 3D vehicle models in each dimension so that the 3D model matches the calculated dimensions for each vehicle. This is especially apparent in longer vehicles such as buses, trucks, and tractor-trailers, where the vehicle lengths are more likely to vary, but you can also see it scale other vehicle models such as very small cars.

In this example below, you'll see that Tesla is now able to accurately represent buses of different sizes. Tesla only has a model for a full length bus, but in this case, Tesla detected that the length of one of the buses is considerably shorter than the vehicle model so it chose to reduce the length of the bus to the length Autopilot had calculated. In the image below you can see how the same bus model is shown in two different sizes.

Tesla can now accurate render vehicles of different sizes
Tesla can now accurate render vehicles of different sizes

It's important to realize the difference between the visualizations and what Autopilot uses. The visualizations are there merely to help us better understand what Autopilot can see. The FSD computer itself has always been taking note of the size of surrounding objects and various other data points. Trajectory, approach velocity, proximity, and so forth have also been a part of this, but this update helps Tesla achieve visualizations that provide a more accurate representation of reality.

It's not only buses and trucks that are scaled up or down. Tesla resized a bobcat down to a vehicle that is about half the length of its normal sedan model.

Tesla can now accurate render vehicles of different sizes
Tesla can now accurate render vehicles of different sizes

Models are adjusted in all three dimensions. We witnessed some truck models that were stretched to become taller while also having their length reduced. It's not perfect because you're scaling all components of the truck at the same rate, but it produces a much more accurate representation of the vehicle and the amount of space it takes up.

Vehicles are resized in three dimensions to better match the vehicle's length, width and height
Vehicles are resized in three dimensions to better match the vehicle's length, width and height

Tesla has come a long way in a short period with how many objects they're able to detect, but obviously, when you compare the environment the car sees today, there is still a lot missing.

In the short term, we'd like to see more objects visualized. Objects that are commonly encountered while driving, such as trailers and gates.

We'd also like to see other common objects added, such as additional traffic light configurations, crosswalks, mailboxes, and maybe even a generic object that lets us know the vehicle sees something it needs to maneuver around, but it may not know exactly what it is.

In the future, I think we'll see Tesla display a rich, fuller 3D environment that will display static and moving objects that are important for the vehicle to avoid, objects such as barriers, buildings, trees, sidewalks, and more. Today Tesla is one step closer to achieving this goal.

Be sure to check out our full list of every visualization in Tesla's latest FSD Beta.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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