Tesla to Remove Steering Wheel Nag This Month

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla to Remove Steering Wheel Nag in January 2023
Tesla to Remove Steering Wheel Nag in January 2023
MKBHD/Twitter

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla vehicles will no longer require the driver to apply force to the wheel while using FSD Beta. All Teslas currently require drivers to apply resistance to the wheel at certain intervals to confirm attentiveness. However, with the addition of the cabin camera in 2017, this requirement may soon go away.

Elon confirmed the change in response to a tweet from @WholeMarsBlog, who asked if users with more than 10,000 miles driven using FSD Beta software, could have the option to disable the tedious steering wheel nag.

Elon replied, "Agreed, update coming in Jan."

While using Autopilot, drivers are alerted to put their hands on the wheel after 30 to 70 seconds of not applying torque to the wheel. The amount of time varies depending on situations and models. If a driver fails to apply force after being alerted, Autopilot could be suspended for the remainder of the drive, or access to FSD Beta could be removed.

FSD Beta allows drivers to get up to five strikes before Tesla disables the feature for an extended period. For vehicles without a cabin camera, the number of strikes is limited to three.

Possibilities

It's still unclear what Elon meant by agreeing to the 'option to turn off steering wheel nag.' Tesla may be able to more accurately gauge hand tension in an upcoming update, or they may switch to using the vehicle's cabin camera. While many are expecting the use of the cabin camera to replace detecting tension on the steering wheel, Tesla may have simply improved the ability to detect hand tension. Tesla recently added the ability to detect defeat devices, so it's obvious they're making some improvements in that area.

If Tesla transitions to only using the cabin camera, this change would leave out Model S and Model X vehicles manufactured before 2021, since they don't contain a camera inside the vehicle.

If the nag is ultimately removed, this is a huge step forward for Autopilot and FSD Beta use, as it would truly offer a hands-free experience.

Since Autopilot was first introduced in 2014, it has relied on the application of force as a sign of driver attentiveness. Removing the nag would be a huge step forward for FSD Beta and the level of autonomy that self-driving Teslas can have.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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