Tesla is rolling out the ability to detect emergency vehicles

By Nuno Cristovao

Yesterday Tesla started rolling out software update 2021.24.12. These incremental updates often focus on bug fixes before they're widely rolled out to the entire fleet. However, every once in a while we're introduced to some new features in a point release.

Tesla detects emergency vehicles
Tesla may render emergency vehicles in the visualization different from other vehicles

With software update 2021.24.12 Tesla has started to roll out the ability to detect and slow down for emergency vehicles. When Tesla released version 9 of the FSD Beta in July, they introduced new visualizations that show when a vehicle is actively braking.

The new visualizations were impressive and left behind the dotted, matrix-like visualizations of v8 betas. After the v9 release, Elon said that Tesla is working on detecting and reacting to more than just brake lights, but also additional things, such as turn signals, hazards, emergency vehicles and even hand gestures.

With this update, it looks like some vehicles are now getting the ability to detect emergency vehicles and react to them, while also alerting the driver.

Twitter user Analytic.eth discovered this new feature in the owner's manual that is in the car. Tesla creates dynamic owner's manuals, so they can show certain content only to vehicles that have a specific feature. So not everyone will be able to see this content in their owner's manual. In this case, Analytic.eth's owner's manual shows that his car now detects emergency vehicles in certain cases.

The owner's manual says:

"If Model3/ModelY detects lights from an emergency vehicle when using Autosteer at night on a high speed road, the driving speed is automatically reduced and the touchscreen displays a message informing you of the slowdown. You will also hear a chime and see a reminder to keep your hands on the steering wheel. When the light detections pass by or cease to appear, Autopilot resumes your cruising speed. Alternatively, you may tap the accelerator to resume your cruising speed.

Never depend on Autopilot features to determine the presence of emergency vehicles. Model3/ModelY may not detect lights from emergency vehicles in all situations. Keep your eyes on your driving path and always be prepared to take immediate action.""

It appears that Tesla is in the early phases of testing this feature. They're detecting emergency vehicles light only at night, when the feature would be more easily spotted. They're also giving the driver the ability to train the neural net by confirming or denying the presence of emergency lights, by tapping the accelerator if there isn't an emergency vehicle and they do not want the car to slow down.

Tesla executed a similar strategy with traffic light detecting where they asked the driver to confirm the presence of a green light by tapping on the accelerator.

This will help train the neural net by delivering possibly tens of thousands of images and videos to Tesla when a vehicle possibly didn't accurately detect an emergency vehicle.

Expect this feature to gain new capabilities and expand to additional vehicles in the coming weeks and months.

Sweet Move: Tesla Shifts from Creating EVs to Making Candy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has filed four new trademarks recently, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. These trademarks aren’t exactly what you’d expect from Tesla – they’re not for cars, not for batteries, and not for any cool new software features.

They’re for sweet, sweet, candy!

Candy Trademarks

Tesla has filed 4 distinct trademarks in its filings with the USPTO, for the following four names.

  • Supercharged Gummy

  • Cyberberry

  • Mango Bolt

  • Dog Mode Chill

The trademarks don’t come with any particular logos, art, or renderings, or it doesn’t reveal anything besides the names of the candy or candy-like items. Tesla filed these trademarks last month on June 25th.

While we’re not quite sure exactly what type of candies these will be, there is one thing we can knock off the bat – given how premium Tesla’s food products have been, these will likely include high-quality ingredients with a matching price point.

Elon Musk previously hinted that he wanted to start a candy company, and claimed he was super serious. Given his usual 2-week timeline, starting it 7-years later under Tesla seems fairly fitting. Jokes aside, we hope that the candies will launch sometime before the Tesla van, otherwise you can expect some more jokes on that front.

Tesla is well known for designing and selling non-vehicle merchandise. In the past, they’ve sold a glass decal that makes your window look like it was shattered with a metal bearing, Tesla Tequila, the Cybertruck whistle and many others.

Maybe we’ll hear more about Elon’s candy ambitions during Tesla’s upcoming earnings call, which will be taking place this coming Tuesday, July 23rd.

Tesla Looking to Hire 800 New Employees After Recent Layoffs, Large Focus on Energy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Just three months after Elon Musk fired the entire Supercharger team, and laid off many employees at Tesla, the company is now looking to hire 800 new employees.

This comes after many members of the Supercharger team were hired back after their initial layoffs.

New Hirings

Tesla’s careers page now has more than 800 open positions today, and positions go from anywhere between engineers for artificial intelligence or batteries, ADAS testers in local communities, or service and desk employees for service centers.

Most of the new jobs focus on engineering positions, and many positions in Legal Affairs, Business Support, and vehicle software positions have not been posted or renewed. Those sections remain empty, at least in North America.

Tesla Energy Focus

Interestingly, quite a few of the new positions focus on Telsa Energy and its role in the company. There are several positions for supporting the deployments of Powerwall and Megapack, as well as doing further engineering work on these types of stationary battery systems.

Just recently, Tesla secured a $375 million Megapack contract in Australia – to build one of the biggest 4-hour battery banks in the world. This comes just days after the announcement of a $256 million Megapack contract to expand a different Australian facility.

We’re expecting Tesla to bank more towards its energy business – which has really just started getting off the ground with recent factory expansions and new business. Tesla Powerwall also recently hit some spectacular milestones – 100MW in California delivered to the grid, and 200,000 hours of backup power after Hurricane Beryl in Texas.

Powerwall and Megapack are going to be defining features of Tesla’s business – and we hope to see Tesla Solar – both Solar Panels and Tesla’s Solar Roof, also become more available to the mass market, just like Powerwall is today.

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