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

345 days since announcement
Future Feature
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 will now automatically reroute you to less busy Superchargers in 2022.16

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla will now reroute you to less busy Superchargers
Tesla will now reroute you to less busy Superchargers
@cybrtrkguy/Twitter (Edited by NATA)

If you don't have enough range to reach your destination, Tesla’s in-car navigation system will automatically calculate where you should stop in order to charge.

If the Supercharger you’re set to arrive at is suddenly too busy, Tesla's navigation will now reroute you to another Supercharger location that's within range.

This was first noticed in the 2022.16 update by @greentheonly, but owners are now seeing it in action.

According to a recent tweet by @cybrtrkguy, which shows a picture of their trip planner and the message, “Rerouting to a less busy Supercharger” in Sheffield, Ohio.

Tesla drivers will now know when a Supercharge station is congested and will have the option to change their route to reduce their total travel time.

Not only does Tesla know exactly how many vehicles are charging at each location. It also knows the charge level of each vehicle and it could estimate the wait time for a Supercharger based on how many Teslas are nearby with a low state of charge.

Based on all of this information Tesla can come up with great suggestions on the best place to charge to reduce your overall trip time.

Tesla’s Supercharger rerouting feature will be useful, especially as Tesla starts opening its Supercharger sites to non-Tesla vehicles.

Tesla recently chose to open up the Supercharger network to other car brands, which could add additional Supercharger congestion.

Update 2022.16.2

Installed on 26% of cars
517 install(s) today
Last updated: Jun 29, 11:16 pm

In fact, Tesla now plans to add CCS (Combined Charging System) plugs to US-based Superchargers in order to make them even more compatible with other EV manufacturers.

With over 30,000 Superchargers (3,500 stations) reported at the end of 2021, Tesla undoubtedly operates the largest and most successful fast-charging networks.

While Tesla plans to solve Supercharger congestion by tripling the size of its network in the next few years, this new navigation feature will certainly help alleviate some Supercharger congestion.

This isn’t the only recent change to how Tesla calculates your route. In the 2022.16.2 software update, Tesla added forecasted crosswind, headwind, humidity and ambient temperature to improve its range calculations even further.

Tesla Model 3 lands in the Top 10 best sellers globally

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla Model 3 is in the Top 10 best selling cars of 2021
Tesla Model 3 is in the Top 10 best selling cars of 2021

Tesla’s Model 3 has landed a spot as the ninth best-selling car in the world for 2021, which is up 40% from 2020, according to Fiat Group World. The Model 3 accounted for 508,000 unit sales in 2021.

According to the data provided by Fiat Group World, the Toyota RAV4/Wildlander came in at number one, which is up from the second spot in 2020. The Ford F-150 pickup truck landed at number seven, down from the number 6 spot in 2020.

Toyota and Honda have four vehicles in the top 11 spots, while Nissan, Ford, and Tesla only have one spot.

Fiat Group World notes that the Tesla Model 3 continues to rise within the list and is expected to rank in the top five by the end of this year.

Additionally, the author adds that the Model Y is expected to outsell the Model 3 by the end of 2022, which means both the Model 3 and Model Y would both sit in the top five spots. The Model Y currently sits at the 19th spot on the list, which means the Model Y accounted for 392,000 sales in 2021. It rose from the 262nd spot, or 412%, from 2020.

It’s worth noting that the Model Y began its deliveries in 2020, which explains the significant jump in 2021. Earlier this year, it won U.S. News’ Best Luxury Electric SUV award.

Of the 110 vehicles included, the Model S and Model X did not make the cut. This is most likely due to their higher price tag.

With this data available and Fiat Group World’s insights, it’s entirely possible for the Model Y to overtake the Model 3 this year. And with Tesla constantly adding new features and bringing back ‘Enhanced Autopilot,’ consumers will likely jump on-board.

Tesla brought back Enhanced Autopilot to the US and Canada last week for $6,000 (USD), half of what Full Self-Driving does.

The Model 3 and Model Y may soon get a rear display for entertainment. A tweet from Tesla enthusiast and software developer @greentheonly discovered that Model 3s and Model Ys with the new AMD processors have the bandwidth for a second display, like the new refreshed Model S and Model Xs have.

Tesla is currently battling global supply chain restraints, and Musk said at Bloomberg’s Qatar Economic Forum that these restraints are a bigger issue than competition from other competitive automakers.

“Our constraints are much. More in raw materials and being able to scale up productions,” Musk says.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.2.

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