Could Tesla be upgrading the repeater camera with a wider angle?
Tesla continues to roll out Full Self Driving and has also increased the cost of FSD. The system is logging millions of miles and constantly improving as Elon Musk continues his quest to make driving safer, preventing injuries and saving lives. However, there are still many skeptics of the program that has the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it.
Some of Tesla's most prominent supporters are its harshest critics, but Musk said at the Tesla shareholders meeting in August that he welcomes honest evaluations. The YouTube channel for CyberOwners has a truthful, well-explained assessment. Mike Hoffman of CyberOwners demonstrates and clearly explains one of the most significant issues with Tesla's ability to see its surroundings and navigate safely. The blind corner.
We've all encountered these situations while driving. Something obstructs our view, and we must lean over the steering wheel while slowly creeping forward to see if it's safe to proceed. As Hoffman shows, the current camera setup has a large area it can not detect. But there are solutions, some that would cost a lot of money and some that could be a simple camera swap.
Hoffman believes Tesla may already be testing a new repeater camera. The repeater camera, more commonly known as the blind spot camera, is on the front fenders. These cameras capture video to the side and back of the vehicle. But Hoffman noticed something different in a video posted by Ashok Elluswamy (below), Tesla's Director of the Autopilot Program.
It appears the program is gathering data from the repeater camera that is further forward than the current camera view. There is also speculation that the video Elluswamy shows is from the b-pillar, the one that is between the front and rear doors. Hoffman says the camera sees much further ahead and is convinced a new repeater camera is being used.
Alternative solutions to this blind corner dilemma include adding cameras to the front bumper and fog lights or moving the b-pillar camera to the side mirror housing. However, this would require new cameras and wiring, which would mean the computer would have to analyze more video streams. This action would be a considerable cost for Tesla, and Hoffman believes a camera swap is much more probable.
Hoffman might be right. It would not be the first time Tesla has changed the repeater camera. When a software update in 2021 included the blind spot feature, some users discovered the repeater camera had glare and was not much help. Tesla changed those cameras out for free.
Most of Tesla's cameras are made to be quickly swappable. Repeater cameras and b-pillar cameras can be swapped out in less than five minutes. That said, this change would require Tesla to swap out potentially millions of cameras. Not a cheap solution, but perhaps the best one to improve another aspect of a system on the cutting edge of technology.
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Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.
Deciphering the 'T'
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X
Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.
This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!
This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.
Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.
Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades
Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.
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