Tesla V11 Changes Coming: May lead to best UI yet

276 days since announcement
Future Feature
By Nuno Cristovao

Version 11 of Tesla's software was one of the most anticipated releases over the past year.

V11 improvements are coming
V11 improvements are coming

When it finally arrived last week in the holiday update, it offered a clean interface with customizable buttons and a bunch of new features.

However, when decluttering the UI, Tesla put many options that were accessible with a single tap behind menus, causing some core features to take two or more taps.

This makes some features less obvious and takes the driver's eyes off the road for a longer period. For core car functions that you may use while driving, requiring two taps to turn a feature on isn't ideal.

Overall, v11 provided a cleaner, more modern interface that was mostly well-received, but it had its fair share of criticism.

The majority of the criticism involved two areas, removal of features from the top status bar such as the Driver's Profile button, and removal of features from the launcher bar, like seat heaters and window defrost.

These features are still available, but now require multiple taps to check their status or turn on, as opposed to just glancing at the screen or tapping a button.

All UI changes take some time to get used to them. Over the years we've built muscle memory on how to turn on and off various car features, and we almost instinctively knew where to tap with just a glance.

If we're driving and a button isn't where we expect it to be, there could be some annoyance or frustration.

Tesla has developed and added many features over the past year. It felt like it was time for the UI and menus to be reconsolidated.

I understand that not everyone needs seat heaters where they live, and maybe they don't need access to driver profiles if they're the only driver of the vehicle, but others may need quick access to these functions.

I think if you go into the situation understanding that some vehicles are driven by multiple members of the same family and that the car doesn't always select the correct profile, then it's easy to understand that hiding the active driver profile behind the Controls menu isn't intuitive.

V11 Improvements Coming

Tesla has heard everyone loud and clear. We now have multiple reports that improvements are coming.

The improvements will focus on the top status bar and the bottom launcher.

Many items were removed from the status bar, such as WiFi/cellular connection, driver profiles, Sentry Mode, Dashcam, HomeLink, and Bluetooth.

Some of these can be considered settings, such as Bluetooth and they're likely to remain in the Controls menu.

HomeLink, in my opinion has found a better spot on the bottom left of the screen in the Model 3/Y and will only show up when you're close to home.

This prevents the HomeLink menu from appearing on top of the reverse camera image when backing out of a garage, which is a nice improvement.

However, I would expect other settings to return to the status bar, with the biggest offender being Driver Profiles.

Tesla may also add back connection information, Sentry Mode, and Dashcam.

Tesla may even let you personalize the top status bar and pick exactly which options you'd like to appear, with most of them being hidden by default.

App Launcher

One of the biggest changes in v11 was the app launcher. With it came a great new feature; the ability to customize which apps appear in the launcher. Again, not everyone needs heated seats, or window defrost so this was a welcome feature for many.

However, to make room for customizable icons and provide more direct access to your preferred music choices, some functions were removed. The problem is that there is no way to add back the functions that were removed.

So although we're now able to customize the launcher, owners are not able to add back some of the features that were previously available.

Seat heaters are now two taps away, instead of one. And data that was once glanceable, such as whether the window defroster is on, now requires the driver to go into a menu.

The good news is that Tesla is listening and that changes are coming to the launcher.

In fact, because of the v11 shortcomings, we may end up with a much better product than was initially planned.

Will Fealey, the president of a Tesla Facebook group compiled a list of owner criticisms. After sending them to a couple of his contacts at Tesla, he heard back from Tesla saying that Tesla is not only listening, but the team is already working on concepts on how to improve the launcher.

According to Will, the concept will let you add new controls to the app launcher, such as seat heaters, dashcam, windshield wipers, and more.

Tesla has taken all the feedback that I gave them yesterday regarding V11 and they've sat down with the relevant teams (presumably in the US) and I'm pleased to feedback the following to you all:

Points 1-3: The team do understand that many users want to be able to adjust [demister, heated seats, profile, dash camera etc] manually, so the team are working on a concept that allows you to customise the bottom bar further with actions like this. This is getting worked on.

Point 4: The team acknowledge we definitely still need to improve British voice recognition. The team will circle back around on this topic.

Points 5-6 [MCU1 / MCU2 differences with V11]: There are nuances to different hardware variants which do impact the release of particular features. This means there will always differences on the features available based on the age/hardware of the vehicle. Tesla thanked us all for the continued feedback and they will share further details when they can.

Thank you Tesla for listening to your owners Regards,

Will Fealey

Tesla Owners UK Club President

Since Tesla is looking at the concept of adding controls to the app launcher, we may gain the ability to add numerous new control options that could be pinned to the launcher.

These new buttons in the launcher can give you direct access to certain menus like Charging or Trips or let you add a voice commands button for passenger use.

Tesla v11 UI
Tesla v11 UI

It could even give you direct access to options like the parking brake, HomeLink buttons, the ability to open the glovebox with one tap, and more.

Elon Confirms Changes Coming

Elon has also confirmed that changes to the v11 update are coming. On Twitter he has said that UI improvements are coming.

Understandably, Tesla owners would like certain features they had quick access to back as soon as possible. However, developing a proper solution that offers even greater flexibility than before will take some time.

I wouldn't expect any changes in a point release of 2021.44, but we may start to see some changes in the first major release of 2022.

Cybertruck to be waterproof and serve as a boat briefly, may also appear in Cyberpunk 2077

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

Cybertruck deliveries will start next year, but if you can't wait that long, you may want to head for Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 has teased that the highly anticipated vehicle in the real world may appear in the popular video game. But, if that's not enough, Elon Musk announced another exciting and unique feature for the futuristic-looking truck - it will be waterproof.

Let's start with the floating Cybertruck, which should not be a shock to anyone following the Tesla CEO. He bought the Lotus Esprit that James Bond used to jump off a pier and transform into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the movie prop for just under $1 million in 2013 and told USA Today, "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

In 2016 he tweeted that the Model S "floats well enough to be a boat," but he did not recommend trying it. Now he has claimed the Cybertruck could be used as a boat — briefly. Musk tweeted: Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren't too choppy.

Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

In a later tweet, he gave some idea of the distance he has in mind: Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.

Twitter user @Erdayastronaut shed some light on why Musk would be singling out that area and distance. The tweet reads: "One of SpaceX's biggest problems is attracting talent to work at Starbase, which is extremely remote. South Padre is an awesome place to live, but it's almost an hour drive to Starbase despite being only 5 miles from Starbase because of the shipping channel." A quick check of Google Maps demonstrates what the user is describing.

South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
Google

Musk's tweet also caught the attention of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Officials there seem to be a little concerned about the wording. The official account tweeted: Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that "serves briefly as a boat" should not be used as a boat.

CD Projekt RED also noticed Musk's tweet, and the makers of Cyberpunk used the opportunity to show two concepts of the Cybertruck as it would appear in Night City. Musk and Cyberpunk have had an ongoing relationship for a few years. Most recently, he demonstrated the power of the onboard computer's gaming system by playing Cyberpunk in a Tesla. However, CD Projekt RED did not mention if the Cybertruck in Cyberpunk would float.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable in the new Model S

Tesla hints at 'Reverse Summon' being available this year

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website'
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website
Tesla

Tesla's team of Autopilot engineers is validating significant advancements to Full Self Driving Beta, including parking lot improvements. While Smart Summon and Reverse Summon were not specifically mentioned during the 3.5-hour AI Day 2022 event, parking lots were discussed, and Elon Musk gave a timeline of when enhancements are expected.

Reverse Summon or 'Park Seek' as Tesla appears to be calling it, is the opposite of Smart Summon. Whereas Smart Summon drives to you from a parking spot, users who activate Reverse Summon would have their Tesla drop them off at a location, perhaps closest to the entrance of a mall, and then find a parking spot. This feature was described by Musk on July 1, 2020, when he gave it a two to a four-month timeline.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s director of the Autopilot program, started the FSD portion of AI Day, saying, “FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on.”

Several team members described how FSD has advanced and soon will be an integrated stack, meaning one code base that includes everything the program needs to navigate the car in a parking lot or on a busy highway. Musk is currently using this new stack, “it works quite well for me, but we need to validate it in all kinds of weather, like heavy rain, snow, dust and make sure it is working better than the production stack across a wide range of environments.”

Paril Jain, the Manager of Autopilot Motion Planning, expanded on what else will be included in the integrated stack, “we do expect to also include the parking lot stack as a part of the FSD stack before the end of this year. So, that will basically bring us to you sitting in the car in the parking lot and drive till the end of the parking lot, at a parking spot, before the end of this year.”

It has been previously reported that Reverse Summon would have three different modes to find parking spots that the owner prefers. The methods would include closest to the entrance, nearby a cart return, and the end of the parking lot for those who like to avoid tight spots that cause door dings. Musk said that the integrated stack is on track for release before the end of the year and maybe as early as November.

Tesla has also updated it's website to reflect this news, although no timeframe is given. The Autopilot section of Tesla's site now has a section titled "To your Destination." The description reads "When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you."

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