Exclusive: Tesla adding 'Vehicle Sync' feature to driver profiles

By Nuno Cristovao

Earlier this year Elon Musk said via Twitter that Tesla will be moving all info and settings to the cloud. He said that any Tesla will automatically adjust to you.

Yesterday, Tesla released their latest update, version 2021.40. In this release there is a reference to a new feature called “Cloud Profiles,” which gives the user the option to 'Enable Vehicle Sync' for individual driver profiles.

Tesla Cloud Profiles
Tesla 'Cloud Profiles' enable vehicle syncing

The feature isn't ready yet, but in 2021.40 we get a sneak peek at the UI of Cloud Profiles and how it may function.

Vehicle Sync

In the Profiles menu, there will be a new option under each profile called 'Enable Vehicle Sync'. It looks like enabling this option will enable your Tesla to sync the given driver profile to other vehicles in your Tesla app.

If you own multiple Teslas, use a loaner or rent a Tesla, you will then be able to keep your profile settings the same across your vehicles. When you change a setting, it'll automatically be carried over to your other vehicles.

This will be especially useful when renting a Tesla (Hertz, we're looking at you). You likely won't want to go through every menu in the car and adjust them to your preference. You may not even remember what setting you have some settings set to.

This could be important for certain settings such as 'Stopping Mode'. When you first get in the car, you may expect it to behave like your own Tesla and if the Stopping Mode is set to something else like roll, it could potentially cause you to roll unexpectedly.

If you rent a Tesla or use one as a loaner, it'll feel almost magical being able to get in it and have it automatically adjust to you.

Car settings are either saved on a per-profile basis or saved globally for everyone who drivers the car. We expect that any profile-based settings will automatically carry over to your other vehicles.

Some of the settings that are saved per profile are display brightness, auto high beams, temperature and distance units and stop mode.

Your Autopilot and navigation settings are also saved individually for each driver and those would carry over to other vehicles as well.

Although seat and mirror positions are saved for each driver as well, we don't expect these settings to sync to other vehicles because different models have different dynamics.

It's possible that Tesla would allow seat and mirror positions to sync for the same Tesla models, but this is yet to be seen.

Tesla is already testing vehicle syncing of driver profiles in this latest, 2021.40 release. We expect the Cloud Profiles feature to be available in a software update later this year.

You can read Tesla's release notes for update 2021.40.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
Not a Tesla App

At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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