I'm sure I've said this before, but one of the amazing things about Teslas is that just about every item in the car is run through a software layer. For example, instead of the ultrasonic sensors being wired directly to the car's audio system to produce a tone when an object is in close proximity , the sensors are plugged up to a hub or motherboard, which then is completely software controlled. One of the many inputs are the ultrasonic sensors, and outputs are individual speakers, display, turn signals, headlights, ambient lights etc.
This gives Tesla a great amount of flexibility. Nothing is set in stone. If Tesla wanted, they could make your ambient lights become brighter the closer an object was to the ultrasonic sensors. In fact, this is what gives Tesla the ability to let out a fart noise every time you use your turn signals in Tesla's Emissions Testing Mode.
We're now hearing that Elon agrees that they can do a better job with parking chimes. Currently Tesla displays a nice visualization in the car when an object is close to the ultrasonic sensors. The car will display an arc around the area of the car that the object is close to. The color of the arc is dependent on the distance of the object. The arc will change from gray to orange and red, all in a very fluid way. The vehicle will even display the distance of the object in inches or centimeters. The visualizations are great.
What's not so great, or rather is more on par with what other vehicles provide are the chimes that the car makes when encountering an object. The car produces slightly annoying chimes, akin to unfastened seat belt sounds when coming close to an object. The sound is roughly the same volume until you get very close.
Someone on Twitter suggested that Tesla improve the proximity sensors chimes to better match the great visualization Tesla already provides. They suggested that Tesla project the sound directionally based on the location of the object. They also mentioned that the volume should be an indicator for the distance of the object and the sound should be something other than chimes.
It's a great suggestion that has been suggested before, but Elon Musk actually responded to this particular suggestion. Elon either more strongly agrees with this suggestion now, or Tesla is or will be looking into this feature in the future.
Tesla has the ability to control each of the speakers in the car individually, so it would actually be amazing if Tesla could decode surround sound directly in the car. Tesla would then be able to encode sounds in a surround sound format and directional sound in the car.
This could be used for a variety of features where directional sound is advantageous such as the parking chimes, turn signals, emergency braking and even the ability to watch Netflix and other streaming services in surround sound. After all, you already have a surround sound setup in your car, all we need is the software.
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Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.
Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."
Volume Production Next Year
If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.
Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."
The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car
Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."
The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.
Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.
Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.
Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.
FSD Beta Numbers
Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.
In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.
Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.
Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.
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