Spy Photo Hints at How Tesla's Front Bumper Camera Will Work

By Kevin Armstrong
A new photo of the Cybertruck hints at upcoming functionality
A new photo of the Cybertruck hints at upcoming functionality

A recent Cybertruck photo revealed that Tesla will let drivers access the video feed from the vehicle's front bumper camera. The picture surfaced on Reddit that shows the center screen of the Cybertruck displaying a view from what can only be a front bumper camera.

Enhancing Parking and Navigation

Not only does the image on Reddit confirm that Tesla is introducing a front bumper camera on the Cybertruck, but they already have the software developed to access the new camera feed. The new camera could greatly enhance parking and navigation. This front view adds a new dimension to vehicle awareness, particularly in tight spaces, complex urban environments, or when pulling as far forward as possible in the garage.

Front Bumper Camera Software

The partial image of the Cybertruck's screen shows the front bumper camera streamed on the vehicle's display. The front camera appears to be displayed using the vehicle's existing camera app, which is to display the backup camera.

Our first glimpse at the front bumper camera UI and previous comments by Elon Musk may reveal just how the updated Camera app will work.

Today, the camera app displays the reverse camera on top, and if enabled, the fender, or repeater cameras are shown underneath.

However, this new photo appears to illustrate something much more helpful. We can see the front bumper camera on top and smaller, thumbnail-like camera views underneath it. These narrower thumbnails lead us to believe that Tesla will have three thumbnails underneath the main camera instead of two. You'll have access to the front, reverse, left, and right fender views.

Looking further back, we may just see where Tesla is headed with this new feature.

In 2020, Tesla added the ability to display the left/right fender camera views when using the reverse camera.

Right after the side repeater cameras were made available, a Tesla owner asked Musk whether it would be possible to enlarge the side-view cameras when backing up. In his unmistakable style, Elon replied, "Yes, coming soon."

Based on Musk's comment and the UI in the spy photo, it looks like Tesla is doing just that. You will likely be able to tap on any of the camera views in the app to enlarge them, allowing you to seamlessly switch between the front, rear, and repeater camera views.

This layout is similar to what Tesla already provides in their Sentry Mode viewer, which allows you to tap on various camera views to enlarge them on the screen.

Tesla may even go one step further and automatically switch between the front and rear-facing cameras depending on whether you're moving forward or backward.

Bird's Eye View

Tesla's Camera app is starting to look like the Multi-Camera View introduced in the Tesla app recently. However, it falls short of a true 360-degree image or "bird's eye view" that Tesla owners have been requesting.

Addressing the Blind Spot Dilemma

Adding a front bumper camera could significantly reduce the blind spot issue that became more apparent when Tesla removed the sensors from the front bumper. Tesla's decision to remove the ultrasonic sensors (USS) in late 2022 sparked debates and left several questions unanswered. Many were concerned about the effectiveness of the Tesla Vision system in replacing the USS.

As soon as the new vehicles were in the wild, Tesla owners were keen on testing the accuracy of Tesla Vision. It became clear that there was a blind spot directly in front of the bumper. This new camera location would correct that issue, though it does not provide the 360º view that some owners and critics call for. The Reddit image does not indicate that this has been implemented, leaving room for speculation and possibly future enhancements.

The Model 3 Highland Connection

In connection with the Cybertruck's front bumper camera, there is growing excitement regarding the Tesla Model 3 Highland refresh. The newly designed bumper shape and smoother front end, combined with redesigned headlights, provide opportunities for more technology implementation. Trusted sources have confirmed that a front bumper camera will indeed be part of the Highland update, reinforcing the connection between these two vehicles and the company's forward-thinking approach.

While the Reddit revelation of the Cybertruck's front bumper camera view is fascinating, it's worth noting that this innovation may lead to further discussions and considerations within the Tesla community and the automotive industry. Including a front bumper camera on the Cybertruck and possibly the Model 3 Highland aligns with Tesla's continuous advancements in design and technology, marking a significant development for the company and its consumers. It represents a tangible step in solving real-world driving challenges, enhancing the driving experience without drastically changing the vehicle's aesthetic appeal.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range Now Eligible for $7.5K Tax Credit

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

In the US, the Model 3 Long Range has now become fully eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

Federal Tax Credit

The federal tax credit is up to $7,500 USD off at the point of sale, which applies to EVs with batteries originating from the United States. The Model 3 Performance was launched with the EV tax credit, which meant that until now, it was cheaper to purchase than the Model 3 Long Range.

Interestingly, after this change, the Model 3 Long Range is only $1,000 USD more expensive than the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive, as the RWD model is not eligible for the credit. The LFP batteries in the RWD model are from CATL in China, and thus mark it as ineligible.

At $40,000 USD, the Model 3 Long Range is now an even better deal than before – and is nearly $7,500 less (the amount of the credit), than the average new car in the United States.

Canadian EV Credits

In Canada, Tesla dropped the Model 3 RWD price by $1,000 CAD, in response to the province of  British Colombia reducing the upper limit of their EV credit MSRP range. This means that the Model 3 RWD is the only Tesla vehicle that is covered under the new BC rebate – which is one of the few provincial rebates still left standing.

Sadly, as a result of this change, and due to a weird classification gimmick, the Model Y is considered a sedan by the Government of BC and is completely ineligible for the additional rebates – but the $5,000 federal EV rebate still applies.

Tesla vehicles accounted for 80% of federal EV rebate applications in Canada in 2023, marking a net increase since last year at 60%.

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