Tesla's Newest Safety Enhancement: Predictive, Vision-Based Seat Belt Tensioning

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla makes their cars even safer with seat belt pretensioning
Tesla makes their cars even safer with seat belt pretensioning
Tesla

Elon Musk used Tesla's quarter two earnings call to highlight several accomplishments made by his company in recent months, including one that may have gone under the radar.

In the 2022.20 update, Tesla introduced a Seat Belt System Enhancement. Musk expanded on the upgrade and its importance to the auto industry.

Update 2022.20.7

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"Our safety team also introduced a feature that tension seat belts if the vision system detects an imminent collision, which has never been done before," said the CEO as he described the predictive, vision-based seat belt tensioning program.

While the seatbelt is considered the single most effective safety technology in the history of the automobile, it has a fundamental flaw as it only provides tension when there is an impact.

However, Tesla's advanced camera system has made seat belts safer. "The car has got to be crunching to trigger the seatbelt tensioner, but because we have the vision, we can actually see that a collision is about to occur with 100% probability before it actually happens."

Tesla's Q2 document shows a chart that displays the seat belt tension performance in three different scenarios, belted, belted with a pre-tensioner and belted with the vision system. The vision system mirrors the vehicle's deceleration closest and shaves off milliseconds to better restrain the occupants.

Tesla compares seat belt occupant accerlation using various systems
Tesla compares seat belt occupant accerlation using various systems
Tesla

"This is a fundamental safety advantage that Teslas are now able to offer. And there is also an over-the-air update, so this is something that will be in place in all cars that have at least AP3 hardware," said Musk. This latest update further enhances its outstanding safety features; it provides a pretension to the seat belt and can adjust the airbag deployment faster.

The Seat Belt System Enhancement is available in update 2022.20 and higher and the feature is available for all newer Teslas, which includes the new Model S and Model X, all Model Ys, and newer Model 3s.

Tesla prides itself on developing the safest vehicles on earth. The Model S, Model X and Model 3 scored the lowest overall probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the U.S. government's New Car Assessment Program. The NHTSA has assessed Teslas with a 5-star safety rating. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given Teslas the top safety pick numerous times. Most recently, calling the Model 3 the Top Safety Pick of 2022, IIHS gave high marks in every category, including superior scores for front crash prevention.

This latest safety improvement, yet another trailblazing moment for the automotive industry, will surely draw more kudos and, hopefully, save more lives.

Tesla tops 40,000 Superchargers; new site to have four solar canopies

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla

Tesla now has 40,000 Supercharger stations worldwide, and more are in the works, including a massive 88-stall facility in a small town in Arizona. @MarcoRPTesla, who has a knack for finding Supercharger plans, tweeted the detailed construction project. The drawings show 20 prefabricated Supercharger units, two trailer-friendly stalls, and four solar canopies.

Quartzsite, Arizona, with a population of 2,413, is the location of the huge Supercharging station. Incredibly, it is being built right across the road from a 36-stall Supercharger. So why is there now one Supercharger for every 20 people in Quartzsite? Interstate 10 runs through the small town, which is at the intersection of U.S. Route 95 and Arizona State Route 95 with I-10.

Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla

This location is approximately three and a half hours away from Las Vegas, Nevada, San Diego, California, and Los Angeles, California. It is also two hours from Phoenix, Arizona. Tourism is the main economic driver of the small town.

Tesla recently asked followers of its @TeslaCharging Twitter account to submit locations where Superchargers are needed. This location makes sense with the amount of traffic going through the area. It also has very little precipitation, which means those solar canopies will be powered up by the sun. That is another long-term vision of the company, to have solar and battery packs at Supercharging locations.

Also, the company plans to allow non-Teslas at its Supercharger locations. That alone will increase the demand at hubs like Quartzsite.

It’s hard to believe the Supercharger network was launched in 2012. A decade later, they are turning into a more common sight around the world. According to the company: Superchargers can add up to 200 miles (322 kilometres) of range in just 15 minutes.

In September, 420 Tesla projects were announced, including a 164-stall Supercharger hub on the I-5 corridor located in Coalinga, California. That will be the world’s largest Tesla Supercharger location. But that is nothing compared to reports of the largest EV charging location in the world, located in China’s hi-tech city of Shenzhen. There is an electric taxi charging station with a total of 637 fast chargers.

The largest EV charging location in the world with 637 stalls
The largest EV charging location in the world with 637 stalls
@DKurac/Twitter

Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to everyone in the US and Canada

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla Full Self-Driving is available to anyone in North America
Tesla Full Self-Driving is available to anyone in North America
DirtyTesla/Twitter

The moment many Tesla owners have waited for has arrived: Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who has requested it, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk took to his newly acquired social media platform Twitter to announce the news.

“Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have bought this option,” writes Musk. “Congrats to [the] Tesla Autopilot/AI team on achieving a major milestone!”

This historic moment comes just days after Tesla began rolling out its latest version of FSD Beta, version 10.69.3.1, which is version 2022.36.20. It includes feature updates like a revamped Energy App, alternate routes, blind spot camera location, and more.

Now, this version is going wide to “anyone in North America who requests it.”

To receive FSD Beta you'll just need to request it in your vehicle under Controls > Autopilot. There is no longer a minimum safety score to achieve and everyone should receive the beta shortly after requesting it, as long as you've bought or subscribed to FSD Beta in the U.S. or Canada.

There are a few requirements for you to receive Tesla's FSD Beta. Your vehicle will need to have Tesla's FSD computer, known as hardware 3.0 or above. It also currently requires your vehicle to be on a 2022.36 update or below.

If your vehicle is on one of the 2022.40 updates, then you'll need to wait until the next beta update since the current beta (v10.69.3.1) is based on 2022.36 and Tesla doesn't normally allow vehicles to roll back to a previous version.

Some Model S and Model X vehicles may require a camera upgrade before being eligible for FSD Beta.

Tesla's next FSD Beta, v11, which is still being tested internally may also be released to some external testers starting today. A few days ago Musk confirmed on Twitter that version 11 would be widened “before Thanksgiving." FSD Beta v11 includes a unified tech stack for city and highway Autopilot use and is expected to go to a wide release sometime next month.

When it comes to FSD Beta updates, Tesla starts distributing to employees first for testing and going wider as they collect data and fix bugs. Then, based on a number of factors, Tesla broadens up distribution to more owners. However, this may soon change when FSD Beta gets incorporated into all Tesla software builds. This may happen with FSD Beta v11.

For owners new to FSD Beta, it's surely a day a lot of us have been waiting for and a monumental moment for Tesla. However, it doesn't stop there, it looks like we'll soon all have access to the next big update, FSD Beta v11.

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