Tesla to Add Waze-like Reporting, Supercharger Congestion Fees, Better Alternate Routes, Autodial 911

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla to enhance it's alternate routes feature in an upcoming update
Tesla to enhance it's alternate routes feature in an upcoming update

When @greentheonly "peeks" into Tesla firmware, we pay attention. The well-known Tesla hacker has alerted us to changes for years. While sometimes he provides deep analysis of what he finds, other times it can be as simple as a few words that cause the Tesla community to go down the rabbit hole. The latest revelations found in the 2023.38 software update, reveal some enticing upcoming enhancements.

Supercharger Congestion Fees

Tesla cleverly addresses Supercharger availability concerns by bringing congestion fees for those charging beyond 80% at busy stations. This is a way to optimize station usage and a countermeasure against users extending their charge to dodge idle fees. With this change, Tesla promotes efficient Supercharger use, ensuring more users can access them when needed.

Object-on-Road Detection & Communication

Tesla's vision system is set to redefine real-time road awareness. Taking a leaf out of Waze's playbook but enhancing it significantly, Tesla will employ its cars as the sensors to feed the rest of the fleet in the area. When a Tesla detects an obstacle or hazard, other Teslas will promptly display the hazard on the map. This leap in connectivity leapfrogs apps like Waze which requires users to input road construction or hazards manually through the app.

Such a feature synergizes with the recent Emergency Safety Solutions, Inc. partnership. This company developed the recently enhanced hazard light pattern system on Tesla models. But it also has the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol (HELP) software. It is primed to send digital signals to pre-warn drivers of looming hazards.

Every seven minutes, a disabled vehicle is involved in a crash on American roads. An alarming 15,000 injuries or fatalities annually. Given the startling statistics around crashes involving stationary vehicles, Tesla's adoption of HELP is a monumental stride towards safer roads.

Dynamic Alternate Route Suggestions

An upcoming software update will dynamically offer alternate route suggestions. Building on last year's introduction of an alternate route feature, Tesla drivers will be kept consistently informed about potential route changes, reminiscent of the dynamic route updates offered by Google Maps.

Autodial Emergency Services

Safety remains paramount for Tesla. According to Green's findings, Tesla is also looking to introduce an option to autodial 911 if an airbag deploys. In places where e-call isn't mandated, the system can tap into a connected phone via Bluetooth, ensuring that help is always a button away, irrespective of the region.

Release Date

While these features were found in decompiled code in the 2023.38 update, they are still a work in progress and need further development before they're made available. While it's possible that Tesla is already testing some of the features internally, it's also possible that they'll scrap one or more of these features.

Thanks to Green's casual peek behind the curtain, many of us will be anxiously awaiting Tesla's next update and upcoming holiday release.

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

By Karan Singh

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

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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