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 Holiday Update Wish List Part 3: Entertainment and Connectivity

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla Owners wish list for the holiday update
Tesla Owners wish list for the holiday update
Not a Tesla App

Elon Musk has always maintained that he wants a Tesla to be the most fun you can have in a car. During the holiday season, Tesla is by far the most festive automobile on the road. Tesla owners are a little more festive this time of year as well because we all know the best update of the year will soon be downloaded to all the good Teslas.

This article, the third in our series on the Holiday Update Wish List, focuses on advancements in in-car entertainment and digital connectivity.

App Store for Third-Party Apps

A significant leap in Tesla's software offering would be an official App Store. We’ve seen a few hints of this, but clearly, owners want it as this feature would open a new realm of possibilities, allowing drivers and passengers to download and use third-party apps directly on the vehicle's interface.

Integrating an App Store could bring various applications, from navigation aids to productivity tools, and more entertainment options. This move would actually help free up Tesla engineers from the continuous cycle of developing and integrating additional streaming services, such as SiriusXM, YouTube TV, Fubo, Amazon Music, and many others.

Games would also be a major attraction to Tesla’s App Store. With an App Store, Tesla could rely on game publishers and other third-party developers for porting andn developing games that could be played in the vehicle. This move would shift how we perceive car infotainment systems, turning Tesla's impressive touchscreens into hubs of personalization and utility.

Elevating the Music Experience with Spotify

The Tesla community has long requested improved Spotify integration, particularly regarding streaming quality. With the potential increase in Spotify's streaming bitrate to 320 kbps, Tesla could offer an audiophile-grade listening experience, leveraging the vehicle's premium sound system to deliver rich, high-fidelity audio. Such an upgrade would not only please music enthusiasts but also reinforce Tesla's commitment to offering premium, cutting-edge vehicle features.

A realistic possibility is the inclusion of Apple Music podcasts which has been hinted at by Greentheonly after finding some references to them in one of Tesla’s recent software updates.

Advanced Bluetooth Audio Support

In line with enhancing audio experiences, Tesla owners are asking Santa Musk to support higher-quality Bluetooth audio. This improvement would cater to an increasingly discerning customer base that values superior sound quality for their media consumption. Musk previously hinted at lossless audio and AirPlay integration in Tesla vehicles, but its not clear whether Tesla ever started development on these features.

By introducing an App Store, enhancing streaming quality, and upgrading Bluetooth audio support, Tesla would build upon its already good set of entertainment offerings. These features are not just about providing entertainment though; they're about creating an immersive experience that resonates with the lifestyles and preferences of Tesla drivers, who are often at the forefront of technology. Are these items on Santa’s shopping list? We will have to wait until the holiday update is released.

Cybertruck Foundation Series Offered to Early Reservation Holders: $120K, Lifetime Connectivity and More

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is offering the Cybertruck Foundation Series to its first customers
Tesla is offering the Cybertruck Foundation Series to its first customers
Paul / niccruzpatane/X

The first Cybertrucks will be part of a limited edition called the Cybertruck Foundation Series. Nic Cruz Patane (@niccruzpatane), unearthed source code showing that this limited edition, fully optioned series will offer a suite of premium accessories and features.

According to some early Cybertruck reservation holders, they’re now being invited to configure their Cybertruck Foundation Series at a price of $119,990.

Lifetime Premium Connectivity and Accessories

One of the most notable inclusions in the Foundation Series is the lifetime premium connectivity. This feature currently costs $99 a year. The only other vehicles that include free premium connectivity for the life of the vehicle are vehicles ordered before June 2018. After this date Tesla introduced the premium connectivity package for $10/month or $99/year. By reintroducing it as a lifetime offering, Tesla is enhancing the value proposition of the Cybertruck, possibly saving owners $1,000 or more over the vehicle’s life.

PowerShare: The Next Level in EV Technology

In addition to this, the series comes with an updated universal wall connector with “PowerShare” capabilities. It also includes a new PowerShare mobile connector, which Tesla has yet to unveil.

The new universal wall connector with PowerShare capabilities is a standout feature. This innovative technology allows the Cybertruck to receive power and send it back to the home. It transforms the vehicle into a mobile power source, a concept that blurs the lines between automotive and home energy solutions.

Similarly, the new PowerShare mobile connector is a step forward in bi-directional charging technology. There’s little that’s known about this new mobile connector, but some text on Tesla’s site reveals that there will be outlets on the connector itself. This will allow owners can hook up devices directly, using the Cybertruck as an alternative to traditional generators. This feature particularly appeals to outdoor enthusiasts and professionals requiring portable power solutions.

Although details are scarce, the PowerShare home backup seems to be the final piece in Tesla's puzzle to enable the Cybertruck to power a home. This feature would control and limit when the Cybertruck could feed energy back into the house. These new features could position the Cybertruck as a critical component in home energy management, especially in emergencies or off-grid living.

The exclusive badging on the Cybertruck Foundation Series and Cyberbeast
The exclusive badging on the Cybertruck Foundation Series and Cyberbeast

Also, there is a mention of Exclusive badges, which seems a little off-brand considering there are no logos or badging on the vehicle, as the Cybertruck doesn’t need it. Foundation Series trucks will have the words Foundation Series in a Cybertruck-typical font displayed on the vehicle’s fender. There will also be a special “badge” for Cyberbeast on the bottom right of the tailgate, which will three wolf-like heads joined together.

Community Response

The announcements has many enthusiasts expressing eagerness to configure their truck; however, others are understandably shocked at the price and are ready to wait for prices to fall in the future.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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