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 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.
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Electric truck survey was completed by AmericanTrucks.com
Oh, the irony! American truck drivers are all revved up for electric trucks, yet they can't wrap their heads around the idea that the Tesla Cybertruck is a "real" truck. Sounds like a classic case of a truck identity crisis!
A recent survey by American Trucks delved into the opinions of truck drivers in the United States about electric trucks, revealing a sizable number of them are considering going electric. However, an interesting finding from the survey is that many truck drivers don't see the Tesla Cybertruck as a "real" truck.
The survey aimed to gauge the excitement around electric pickup trucks and understand the preferences of both truck owners and non-truck owners. Electric vehicles have been gaining popularity, but electric pickup trucks have taken longer to enter the market. With more models becoming available, American Trucks sought to identify which ones generate the most interest.
Truck Drivers are Ready for Electric
According to the survey's results, 35% of truck drivers are thinking about transitioning to electric trucks within the next decade, with most planning to do so within the next five years. The electric pickup models that have captured their attention include the Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Toyota Tacoma EV, Rivian R1T, GMC Sierra EV, and Canoo Pickup Truck.
Drivers' slower adoption of electric trucks can be attributed to valid concerns. While range anxiety is becoming less of an issue for most passenger vehicles, it is still significant for truck drivers who use their vehicles for heavy-duty tasks like towing. Electric trucks' range can be affected under these conditions, leading to driver hesitancy.
Cybertruck Gets the Attention
Interestingly, when the survey shifted its focus to non-truck drivers, the Tesla Cybertruck emerged as the most anticipated electric pickup. This finding suggests a difference in perception between truck drivers and the general public, who might be more attracted to Cybertruck's futuristic design and unique features.
Despite the Cybertruck's popularity among non-truck drivers, 56% of the truck drivers surveyed don't believe it is a "real" truck. The reasons for this perception remain unclear, but it could be due to the unconventional design, the vehicle's specifications, or other factors that might not align with traditional truck drivers' expectations.
Electric truck survey was completed by AmericanTrucks.com
Tesla has announced plans to begin Cybertruck production this summer, but many truck drivers surveyed believe it will be at least two years before it becomes widely available. Their skepticism might also be influenced by Tesla's track record of production delays and the fact that there are already around a million reservations for the Cybertruck.
Truck drivers are seeking longer ranges, increased availability of charging stations, and faster charging times before they fully commit to switching to electric trucks. These factors play a crucial role in ensuring that electric trucks can be effectively used for work purposes, just as their gasoline-powered counterparts have been for years. It will be interesting to see how perceptions change and whether the Tesla Cybertruck can eventually win over the hearts of traditional truck drivers.
Tesla's Model 3 Long Range may be set to make a comeback
Not a Tesla App
Tesla halted production of the immensely popular Model 3 Long Range last summer due to an overwhelming backlog of orders extending well into 2023. This move left customers with only the base, rear-wheel drive version and much more expensive performance version of the Model 3 available for purchase.
However, recent developments suggest that Tesla might soon begin accepting orders for the Model 3 Long Range once again. One of our readers, Jake Bercic, pointed out that the price of the Long Range Model 3 has appeared on a Canadian Tesla support page. The price appears among other Tesla models, which all reflect current pricing.
Update: It looks like Tesla has kept the Model 3 Long Range model on this support page, and they updated the pricing in January 2023.
The prices displayed on the Canadian support page for the Long Range Model 3 are:
Rear wheel drive: $54,990 CAD (this version in the US: $42,990)
Dual motor Long Range: $67,990 CAD (equal to approximately $49,700 USD)
Performance: $72,990 CAD (this version in the US: $53,990)
Project Highland and New Price
The possible return of the Model 3 Long Range comes amidst speculation of Tesla's Project Highland - the refreshed Model 3. We recently uncovered more details about Project Highland. The possible reintroduction of the Model 3 Long Range, coupled with Project Highland, could signal a new chapter in Tesla's EV dominance. By bringing back a highly sought-after model and potentially introducing a new and improved version, Tesla continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and meeting the increasing demand for electric vehicles.
The possible reintroduction of the Model 3 Long Range, coupled with Project Highland, could signal a new chapter in Tesla's EV dominance. By bringing back a highly sought-after model and potentially introducing a new and improved version, Tesla continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and meeting the increasing demand for electric vehicles.
This development is particularly noteworthy, as the Model 3 Long Range's previous price of $57,990 USD, made it ineligible for the new US tax credit for electric cars. With the new regulation, a price cap of $55,000 applies to passenger car models, and $80,000 for SUVs and pickups. That means all Model 3's are eligible for the $7,500 tax credit.
The halt in Model 3 Long Range production came after Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned about potential order freezes due to a sharp increase in demand for electric cars in several regions of the United States. Musk had stated that once Tesla increased production, the model variant would return to the market. Now, it seems that the time for its return might be near.
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