Zoom announces its video conferencing app is coming to Tesla

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Zoom announces Tesla integration at Zoomtopia Keynote
Zoom announces Tesla integration at Zoomtopia Keynote
Zoom

Elon has previously announced that video conference capabilities will be available in Teslas, but Zoom has now officially announced its video conferencing software will be available in Teslas soon.

Zoom made the announcement during its annual 2022 event, Zoomtopia.

Although Zoom made the announcement, it looks like the integration is being developed by Tesla.

Tesla looks to be leveraging Zoom's popular web interface for this new feature. This means that Zoom will function much like Netflix and Youtube currently do in the vehicle, where it's run in a chromeless browser and Tesla essentially builds on top of this.

The Zoom app is expected to become a part of Tesla Theater when it's released and is largely expected to function the same way, such as requiring Premium Connectivity and only being available while the vehicle is parked.

Camera and Resolution

Instead of requiring a separate camera, the Zoom app appears to utilize the vehicle's interior camera, which means it'll be the first time we have direct access to the cabin camera video stream, although hacks by GreenTheOnly have previously shown the capabilities of the camera.

The vehicle's cabin camera has a resolution of 1280x960, which is a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, Tesla may be cropping this camera feed to 16:9, which means it'll end up with a resolution of 1280x720, or 720p.

The only remaining cameras that will not be directly accessible by the driver will be the b-pillar cameras and two of the front-facing cameras.

Controls

The new Zoom controls are similar to those when on a phone call. In a Model 3 and Model Y, the controls will appear on the bottom left corner of the display and feature options to toggle the video and mic on and off.

The last two buttons appear to be used to view the participants on the call and end the meeting.

In the video, it was also shown that Zoom meeting links will now appear on your vehicle's calendar if available. Tapping on the link will automatically launch Zoom and start the meeting.

Vehicle Support

Since this new feature will likely rely on the vehicle's cabin camera, it will most likely be limited to the Model 3, Model Y and the new Model S and Model X.

During the announcement, Zoom said the feature was coming to “all new Tesla models soon.”

It's not clear whether this means Zoom will only be offered on MCU3-based vehicles, or older models with Atom processors as well. However, given the similarity to other streaming apps, we expect this feature to be offered on MCU 2 and MCU 3 cars.

Elon previously alluded to video conferencing being added back in 2020 and the first MCU 3 vehicle was introduced in June 2021.

App Store

When a Zoom icon was found earlier this year in a Tesla interface video it sparked rumors of an app store coming to Teslas.

However, we don't believe that's what's happening here. While an app store may be an idea that is being developed at Tesla, we think this Zoom integration will simply be another app that is offered in addition to YouTube and others.

Release Date

Zoom and Tesla haven't shared an official timeframe for release of this feature, but Zoom did mention the feature would be available soon during its keynote.

It's possible Zoom let the cat out of the bag with this announcement and that it was planned as one of the surprise features in Tesla's upcoming 2022 Christmas update.

Zoom in Action

Watch Zoom’s segment on its Tesla video conferencing integration below.

Tesla Introduces Most Affordable Car: Long Range RWD Model 3 with 363-Mile Range for $34,990

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has brought back the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive variant, which starts at $42,490. However, due to the batteries in the Long Range model, it qualifies for the $7,500 federal EV rebate. This makes this new model the cheapest model in Tesla’s lineup after the federal rebate that comes off at the point of sale.

After the federal rebate, this model is $34,990, exactly $4,000 less than the standard RWD model with the smaller LFP battery.

Improved Range

The Long Range RWD variant boasts a range of 363mi (vs 341mi for the AWD, and 272mi for the regular RWD), and a 0-60mph of 4.9sec (vs 4.2sec for the AWD). This makes the new Long Range RWD Model 3 Tesla’s longest-range economic vehicle (Model 3 / Model Y). The Model S AWD boasts an impressive 402-mile EPA estimate.

Other than the lack of a front motor for handling in rough or slippery terrain, or having a faster 0-60, the Long Range RWD is a fantastic option for most people.

It’s worth noting that only the Long Range AWD model can unlock Tesla’s Acceleration Boost, which increases power and reduces the vehicle’s 0-60 times by about half a second.

Model

Price

Price After Rebate

0-60 MPH

Range

Model 3 RWD

$38,990

-

5.8s

272mi

Model 3 LR RWD

$42,490

$34,990

4.9s

363mi

Model 3 LR AWD

$47,490

$39,990

4.2s

341mi

Model 3 Performance

$54,990

$47,490

2.9s

303mi

Availability

For now, the Model 3 Long Range RWD model is only available in the United States, with no availability in Canada.

Tesla FSD V12.5 to Combine City and Highway Stacks, Introduce Vehicle-to-Fleet Communication and More

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

As FSD V12.4.3 continues to get released to more vehicles, Elon Musk has posted that FSD V12.5 is already in testing and will include several key features.

The improvements in v12.5 are supposed to focus on rarer, more complex situations and vehicle-to-fleet communication. Tesla’s Autopilot lead, Ashok Elluswamy, also mentioned that FSD would gain the ability to go in reverse around this time.

Merge City & Highway Stacks

FSD v12 has been a multi-stack setup so far, with a city-streets stack that is end-to-end, and an older highway stack that was carried over from v11. FSD v12.5 will once again merge the city/highway stacks according to Musk, who confirmed the feature yesterday. That means that there will no longer be an implicit highway stack.

This could cause some regressions during highway driving, similar to the ones we experienced when Tesla first merged highway and city stacks back in FSD v11. Ultimately, when the issues were ironed out, we ended up with a smoother and better Autopilot experience on the highway. When FSD v12.5 rolls around, we may see some similar issues but expect FSD v12.5 to do to highways what v12 did for city driving.

Vehicle-to-Fleet Communications

Tesla’s FSD relies heavily upon maps, with the mapping information designating routing and lane changes. When vehicles encounter difficulties, they are unable to communicate that back to the rest of the fleet. This results in every vehicle encountering the same problem. With FSD V12.5, vehicles will be able to communicate road closures or other obstacles back to the rest of the fleet in real-time. This will turn FSD into software that’s constantly improving as the fleet gathers more data, instead of having to wait for a software update.

Cybertruck Finally Gets FSD

In a recent post on X, Musk also confirmed that V12.5 will finally bring FSD to the Cybertruck. Currently, all Cybertrucks only have access to Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC). Autopilot and FSD capabilities should arrive alongside all the other features.

Actually Smart Summon

Musk has talked quite a bit about Actually Smart Summon. With FSD 12.5, the new vision-based summon may finally be released. This will introduce Smart Summon capabilities to vision-only cars for the first time. However, it’s expected to be a drastic improvement for all vehicles in similar ways to the new Autopark. The new summon has been tied to the ability to move the vehicle in reverse by Tesla’s Autopilot lead, so expect either both of them to arrive in FSD 12.5, or be held off for a later release.

Release Date

Musk originally mentioned that FSD V12.5 would be released in late June, however, there were several delays with FSD 12.4 and that time frame has now come and gone. FSD 12.4 was initially released in May 2024, but it went through several lengthy revisions before it was introduced to public testers. Going by that time frame, it appears that FSD 12.5 was expected to be released about 4-6 weeks after FSD 12.4. If FSD 12.4.3 is finally got a good spot, we could see FSD 12.5 become available in the next 4-6 weeks or about late August.

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