Tesla introducing Autopilot driving styles with 'FSD Profiles'

By Nuno Cristovao

Early Sunday morning Tesla released the latest FSD Beta, v10.3. This release, 2021.36.5.2 includes numerous improvements outlined in Tesla's technical release notes, but it also introduces another notable feature, Autopilot driving styles.

Tesla introduces Autopilot driving styles
Tesla introduces Autopilot driving styles
@chazman/Twitter

In 10.3, Tesla added Full Self-Driving Profiles, or driving styles. There are three options to pick from, Chill, Average and Assertive.

You can think of them as similar options to Chill mode which reduces fast acceleration and the speed-based lane changes such as mild, average and Mad Max.

Choosing a driving style will change how Autopilot drives and interacts with elements in its environment. For example, adjusting your FSD profile will adjust your car's following distance, acceleration, lane changes and more.

In Chill mode, your car will leave a larger following distance and be more 'mellow'. It'll remain in its lane more often if the car in front of you slows down rather than going around them. It will also perform complete stops and have more graduar acceleration.

Tesla's Chill FSD Profile
Tesla's Chill FSD Profile
@chazman/Twitter

Average mode will have a medium following distance and Tesla says that the car may perform rolling stops. Tesla doesn't mean stop signs, but optional stops, such as pulling out of a driveway or parking lot. If the coast is clear, your car may simply slow down instead of coming to a complete stop. You can also expect faster acceleration when compared to Chill mode.

The last driving profile is 'Assertive'. In this profile the following distance will be shorter and your car will try to maintain its speed as much as possible by moving into open lanes more often. Tesla says that the car will not exit passing lanes. So when driving on the highway your car will travel and remain in the left most lane.

Traveling in the passing lane is relatively normal in the US, but in many countries it's actually a ticketable offense. Tesla currently has an option in Autopilot settings that allows the car to travel in the passing lane instead of using it only for passing. It's likely that the option to travel in the passing lane will be adjusted when FSD sees a rollout outside of the US.

It's likely that these profiles affect many other areas of driving, such as when to let other cars into your lane or how it reacts to yellow lights.

These FSD Profiles are a great, and much needed addition. Not only do individuals have different preferences when “someone else” is driving, but some of these driving styles are crucial when driving in certain areas of the country. You wouldn't want to go into a major city and leave a large following distance or accelerate too slowly or cars would constantly cut in front of you.

Similar situation if you live out in the country. Driving fast and not letting other drivers into your lane may be frowned upon by other drivers.

Tesla now has an assertive FSD mode
Tesla now has an assertive FSD mode
@chazman/Twitter

You can read about some of the other changes in FSD Beta 10.3 or take a look at the technical release notes.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

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