Tesla to use internal microphone to detect emergency vehicles and aid in FSD

By Nuno Cristovao

As Tesla continues to inch closer to releasing Autopilot on city streets, and one day full self-driving, they need to account for more occurrences on the road. As we talked about briefly, Tesla now detects brake lights on vehicles in the latest beta and will soon also detect turn signals and even hand signals.

Elon has also said that Tesla will soon detect emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and fire trucks. For Tesla to assess the situation properly they will also need to detect whether the vehicle is in an emergency situation so that it can follow proper driving procedures, such as pulling off, stopping at a green traffic light or letting the vehicle pass.

In order for Tesla to be able to do this, they will not only detect the emergency vehicles lights, but will also look for sirens.

Tesla Model 3 interior

Teslas do not currently have external microphones. The only microphones they have currently is the internal one used for voice commands and hands-free calling. Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla will start utilizing the internal microphone to help detect the presence of emergency vehicles.

Listening for sirens may only be the beginning if Tesla is successful in detecting situations using sound alone. What if they could detect other sounds that help the car further understand the environment and the current situation. Maybe listening for car honks, screeching tires or crashing sounds may be helpful. This may even be the start of Tesla adding a “Hey, Tesla”-like wake command to activate the voice-assistant like VW does in their ID vehicles. When Tesla starts to use the microphone for things beyond Bluetooth calling and voice commands, it could open up a whole new door of possibilities.

It’s great to see Tesla moving forward and increasing Autopilot’s capability, but this feature comes with some possible issues. How will Tesla distinguish between real emergency vehicle sounds and sirens coming from music or a ringtone?

The short answer is they probably won’t. In fact, who hasn’t been tricked before when hearing police sirens on the radio only to look around them and realize it’s not real. Tesla appears to be building FSD features based on human abilities, such as seeing and hearing. If a human can do it based on vision and hearing, then why not a machine? Especially if that machine has 360-degrees of vision and the ability to make pinpoint calculations in a fraction of a second.

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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