Tesla FSD Beta 10.13: Roundabouts, solving Chazman's turn and navigating without GPS and map data

By Alex Jones
Swindon's Magic roundabout in England
Swindon's Magic roundabout in England
Inhabitat.com

While unprotected left turns can be nerve-wracking for novice drivers, many FSD Beta participants still experience anxiety when their car is faced with such a turn.

Unprotected left turns are one of the harder driving maneuvers to make for humans and AI, as they leave your vehicle vulnerable while turning (instead of turning with traffic).

Tesla quickly recognized the difficulties their AI was experiencing in safely executing these turns and has been working diligently to improve the AI’s ability to discern oncoming hazards.

Solve Chazman's Complicated Left Turns

FSD Beta 10.12 improved unprotected left turn issues, but there are still some lingering issues.

Chuck Cook (@Chazman) has been iteratively testing FSD Beta's ability to make unprotected left turns on a busy route.

It's a complicated turn that involved crossing three lanes of traffic before reaching the median and then turning left.

Often it involves crossing the three lanes and waiting at the median before finding enough clearance to get into a lane.

It's complicated, even for humans. However, Elon Musk said in a recent tweet that beta 10.13 would solve Chuck's complicated left turns 'most of the time.'

Chazman on FSD Beta 10.12.2

Smoother Intersections

Elon also added that 10.13 would "smooth out intersection control," hopefully reducing the vehicle's hesitation and steering jerkiness that can happen in busy intersections.

Going Deep on Roundabouts

In addition to unprotected left turns, traffic circle/roundabout navigation has become a focus of FSD engineers.

While popular abroad, roundabouts are seldomly used in the US. Although there are estimated to be 2600+ roundabouts across the country, so FSD Beta needs to be able to handle them well.

FSD Beta's navigation of roundabouts has been spotty, although one could argue that multi-lane roundabouts are challenging even for experienced drivers.

With FSD Beta 10.13, Musk says that Tesla is going 'deep on roundabouts,' and that it should be noticeably better in that iteration of FSD Beta.

There are certainly some complicated roundabouts out there that can challenge even the most skilled drivers. Some roundabouts include multiple lanes and may require you to change lanes within the roundabout, some may even include roundabouts leading into or out of the roundabout, such as the 'Magic Roundabout' in Swindon, England.

Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England

Navigate without Map Data

Musk also hinted at another major improvement that may be included in 10.13: the ability for FSD beta to navigate roads with no map data.

The vehicle will be able to navigate to a specific GPS point or pinned location (ex: rural roads), says Musk.

Dead Reckoning Navigation (Navigating without GPS)

In addition, Elon alluded to the fact that Tesla is also working on the AI’s ability to complete 'dead reckoning' navigation (navigating only on “inertial measurements, wheel movement & vision”).

He gave underground parking garages as an example of where FSD would need this ability to navigate without GPS or map data.

The car will be able to do this by using its last known GPS location and then determining its future location using only a compass, wheel movement and speed.

FSD Beta 10.13 Release Date

Elon said that he expects FSD Beta 10.13 to be available in about two weeks.

Why is it always two weeks? Tesla may use an agile approach to software development. In agile development work is planned in 'sprints' that span one or more weeks, with two weeks being a common length.

It's possible Tesla uses two-week sprints when planning and developing upcoming features.

For drivers that have experienced the intense nature of FSD left turns through busy intersections, it looks like they won’t have to wait long for FSD Beta 10.13.

Tesla to reward Powerwall customers in California who opt-in to virtual power plant program

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla to launch new virtual power plant program
Tesla to launch new virtual power plant program

Tesla’s new partnership with gas and electric company PG&E in California will give Powerwall owners the opportunity to earn money while giving energy back to the grid.

The virtual power plant (VPP) is a connection of distributed energy storage systems that work in tandem to give energy back to the grid to avoid dirty and costly peaker power plants. Essentially, when the grid is being strained, then the VPP can kick in and draw power from Powerwall owners enrolled in the program, and other distributed energy storage system owners, to use clean energy and avoid brownouts across the state.

Here are some of the advantages with this new VPP with PG&E:

Stabilize California’s Grid: The extra capacity your Powerwall provides could help avoid or reduce blackouts in a severe emergency. This way, Powerwall can keep the lights on for both you and your community.

Clean the Grid: Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online.

Unite as a Tesla Community: Team up with other Powerwall owners who are accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help form the largest distributed battery in the world - potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. As part of the VPP, your Powerwall will have an outsized positive impact on the grid over traditional demand response programs.

Maintain Your Energy Security: Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but won’t discharge below your Backup Reserve. Adjust your Backup Reserve to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.

Earn Compensation: Through the ELRP pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall provides during an event. You don’t have to change your energy usage behavior to participate.

In 2021, Tesla piloted a test VPP program in California for Powerwall owners to voluntarily opt-in without compensation. The test VPP program would then pull energy from the Powerwalls when the grids needed it.

“Become a part of the largest distributed battery in the world and help keep California’s energy clean and reliable,” reads a statement from Tesla. “Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP) with PG&E and your Powerwall will be dispatched when the grid needs emergency support. Through the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall delivers during an event. Adjust your Backup Reserve to set your contribution, while maintaining backup energy for outages.”

With Tesla and PG&E’s new VPP program owners will receive $2/kWh, which is quite significant. For comparison, where I live in Southern California, Tesla charges $0.58/kWh for supercharging during peak hours.

According to Electrek, “they could earn anywhere from $10 to $60 per event or more for bigger systems.” 

Tesla stated that they have roughly 50,000 Powerwalls that may be eligible for this new program.

Tesla Cybertruck design finalized; to enter production mid-2023: Elon Musk [Video]

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Cybertruck
ksbw.com

In an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the Cybertruck design has now been finalized. Musk didn’t get into details about the design, but gave a rough timeline for production of the Cybertruck.

With the design now "locked", he estimates production will begin “the middle of next year, roughly 12-months’ish” which would put the first Cybertruck deliveries in the second half of 2023.

Musk did not say when the final design will be revealed, but recent sightings of the alpha builds give us many hints as to what to expect.

When discussing the Cybertruck design Elon said they “got too carried with the…,” before pausing, hinting that they have added a number of new features not included on the original prototype.

While it's not clear what additional features Elon was about to mention, we have an idea of what is to come.

One of the most controversial additions has been the side mirrors, which are required by law, although Musk has said that they will be easily removable by owners.

Another controversial feature of the Cybertruck is the windshield wiper. While we have only seen the large single wiper, Musk did say that the final design would be different than what has been seen on recent builds.

Tesla did patent a laser beam windshield wiper, but we'll likely see something more traditional on the Cybertruck.

Another feature we could see on the final build are doors with no handles. At the Cyber Rodeo, Elon opened the Cybertruck door by pushing a button on the side of the truck. The doors also seemingly open and lock depending on proximity to the vehicle.

You can watch the full interview below.

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Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.2.

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

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We expect version 2022.20 to be released imminently.

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