Tesla Service Says Tesla Vision Update Coming; Expected to Address Model X Doors and More

By Kevin Armstrong
New Model X doors only open partially due to Tesla Vision constraints
New Model X doors only open partially due to Tesla Vision constraints
Tesla Owner's Perspective

For recent Tesla Model X owners, there's been an ongoing issue since the removal of the ultrasonic sensors. The vehicle's front, auto-presenting doors now only open partially. These automatic doors, along with the iconic falcon-wing doors, have long been a standout feature of the Model X, often being the topic of admiration and intrigue. But, with Model X vehicles released after January 2023, something seemed amiss.

Previously, the Model X's auto-presenting doors would open completely if you walked alongside the car. This convenient feature allowed you to get in hands-free, which was especially useful if you had your hands full. Upon entering the car, you can then close the door by tapping on the brake pedal.

Auto-Presenting Doors in Action

However, newer Model Xs without the full array of ultrasonic sensors now merely prop open the front door, instead of swinging it open completely. This essentially removes the convenience of the feature since you still need to open the door the remainder of the way to have enough room to get in. Thankfully, you can still step on the brake pedal to close either of the front doors.

Customer Feedback and Tesla's Response

A Model X owner recently reached out to Tesla service to explain the situation with his car. Not only do his doors not open all the way, but if an open door remains untouched, it also doesn't close as it should, likely due to a lack of momentum. This reality contrasts sharply with the Model X's earlier promise: an elegant and full automatic door opening.

Tesla's response was interesting and hopeful. Tesla service told the customer that the issue is related to the transition to Tesla Vision and that the vehicle purposely only opens its doors ten degrees. The smaller opening is presumably to prevent the doors from hitting a nearby obstacle due to Tesla Vision's reduced accuracy compared to ultrasonic sensors.

Improvements to Vision Coming

Tesla service goes on to say that Tesla is working on a software update that will allow the doors to open more. It's not clear whether they'll open as wide as they do on models with ultrasonic sensors, but it's evident that Tesla is working on improving the vision system to more accurately represent the distance from objects.

The Vision Update: More than Just a Door Fix

Tesla service says a vision update will improve the Model X's auto-presenting doors
Tesla service says a vision update will improve the Model X's auto-presenting doors

Tesla's upcoming "Vision Update" signifies more than just a fix to the door issue. Since the doors opening relies on knowing the distance to nearby objects, these improvements are expected to improve other Tesla features that rely on accurate distance measurements. Some of these features could be Park Assist, Smart Summon and Auto Park, which are currently unavailable on vehicles without ultrasonic sensors.

Tesla has several new features that are expected soon, which could all be tied into these vision improvements. Actually Smart Summon, has been talked about since last year, with Musk suggesting that it could be available by late summer of 2023.

However, there are also other features such as smarter Autopark and Reverse Summon, or Park Seek, that will let you be dropped off at the door and have the vehicle park itself.

There are a lot of recent Tesla owners who would love to see improvements to Park Assist, but it looks like we may see more than just that in the (hopefully) near future.

Tesla Update 2024.20 Lets Matrix Headlights Adapt to Curves, Adds Supercharger Leaderboards and More

By Karan Singh

Tesla has been on a roll with updates recently, and now update 2024.20 was released to employees over the weekend. This update builds on the many features in the Spring Update and adds a few big improvements.

Adaptive Headlights

New updates to Adaptive Headlights are arriving for European cars with matrix headlights. The new update allows the headlights to adapt to curves in the road ahead of you, enabling better illumination. Having the adaptive headlights work for curves is the second major update for matrix headlights. Update 2024.8 added adaptive high-beam support, letting your high beams stay on longer by turning off select LEDs in the headlights.

Update 2024.2 first brought adaptive high beams to the new Model 3, before it was later introduced to older vehicles with matrix headlights. At this time, it’s not clear whether the improvements to headlights around curves will be exclusive to matrix headlights or also support the new Model 3.

How to Tell If You Have Matrix Headlights

How do you know if you have matrix headlights on your Tesla? On the outer edge of the headlight, there will be a large, round projector dome, like in the image below. If there isn’t a dome, those are standard non-matrix headlights.
Another way to tell is to run a stock light show while facing a wall. If the Tesla logo, in letters, pops up, you have matrix headlights.

Matrix headlights have a circular dome projector on the outer edge.
Matrix headlights have a circular dome projector on the outer edge.

For now, North America still does not have adaptive headlight support, mostly due to legislative and testing issues in the United States. The US recently approved adaptive headlights, and a Tesla employee mentioned they’re working on it. Canada has legalized adaptive headlights since 2018, so we see this deployed in North America at some point in the future.

Supercharger Races on Beach Buggy Racing 2

Tesla is still improving its Arcade functionality, with the addition of local leaderboards at Superchargers in Beach Buggy Racing 2. It appears that each individual Supercharger site will have its own leaderboard, which drivers can compete on while their cars charge. Tesla says there will also be special races to compete in this Beach Buggy Racing 2 update.

Tesla owners can plug in and play with a controller, the touchscreen, or their vehicle’s steering wheel. Thanks to steer-by-wire on the Cybertruck, the actual wheels on the truck won’t move like they do on other Tesla models when playing the game.

We continue to hope that future refreshes to the S, 3, X, and Y will eventually receive steer-by-wire as well, as the feature has quite a few unique uses, whether driving or parked.

Autopilot Strikes and Suspension

An updated Autopilot Strike system, similar to the one that is on Tesla’s upcoming FSD V12.4 update, is on 2024.20 as well. At five strikes, users will be suspended from the use of Autopilot like before, but now Tesla will remove a strike for each 7-day period the driver goes without receiving a strike.

FSD 12.4 also improves vision-based monitoring and removes the steering wheel nag, but that’s not in this latest Tesla update, but will likely be added in the future.

Tesla tends to release new Autopilot features in their FSD updates before releasing them to the wider public for regular Autopilot use.

Hot Weather Improvements

The last set of user-end improvements coming in 2024.20 will be related to hot weather, the opposite of 2024.2.6’s cold weather update. This set of changes intends to improve AUTO mode HVAC performance in hot weather, helping to cool down the cabin faster, while also maintaining comfort at lower noise levels.

There have been several updates in the last six months to Tesla’s HVAC systems, all helping to deliver a quieter, more comfortable experience, with one of the last major ones introducing cool-down or warm-up periods before blowing air into the car cabin.

Tesla Software in China Shows 'Employee FSD Beta Program' as Tesla Prepares for Launch

By Karan Singh

Chris Zeng, a Chinese Tesla content creator on X, recently posted an image with Tesla’s Spring Update – 2024.14, with the words “Employee FSD Beta Program: Registered.”

He also confirmed that although this text appears in the vehicle, there are no actual FSD features enabled yet.

FSD Beta Coming to China

Recently, Tesla began to offer Enhanced Autopilot subscriptions in China, and Chinese corporate giant Baidu announced that it will be providing enhanced 3D mapping for Tesla vehicles as well.

On a recent trip to China, Elon Musk spoke with Premier Li Qiang on the rollout of FSD to China. Later follow-ups said that “it may be possible [for FSD to arrive in China] very soon”.

FSD Shadow Mode

Tesla’s cars can operate FSD in Shadow Mode – which means that the vehicle is running FSD in the background without any real output except analytics. This is a common software practice that lets software engineers compare the process they’re testing against an existing known output and compare the results. In this case, Tesla compares what FSD would do to what the driver does, and any discrepancies are reported back to be analyzed.

With this information, we could guess that FSD has been operating in Shadow Mode in China for a while, and this new Employee FSD Beta Program will be the beginning of employee testing in China, providing even more data for the end-to-end process that is FSD V12.

FSD Beta, not Supervised FSD

Most interestingly, the photo refers to “FSD Beta” instead of “Supervised,” which Tesla started using with FSD 12.3.3 in March 2024. This could imply that FSD in China isn’t ready for a “Supervised” variant, and it’s considered to be in more of a testing stage.

In the photo, we can also see that it says “Wave 1,” which is what Tesla calls the group of employees who receive “pre-release” Tesla updates on their personal vehicles. Wave 1 serves as a final test for software before its released to the public. In most cases, the software is rolled out publicly within a couple of weeks, however, there have been times when bugs are found and Tesla releases revision before a public release.

Release Date

Prior to larger releases here in North America, we generally see Tesla ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) testing and verification vehicles on the roads, which have not yet been spotted in China.

Whether these vehicles will be needed in China is up for debate, but once FSD features begin rolling out to employees, we should get a better idea of a public release in China.

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