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.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

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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 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

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