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.

A Closer Look at Tesla's Ambient Lighting Feature in the New Model 3 and Cybertruck [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
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.

Supported Models

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
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.

Future Enhancements

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 Model 3 'Highland' Performance Details Discovered in European Documents

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
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
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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