When Tesla revealed the "Smart Summon" feature in September of 2019, the potential for automated parking was engineered into existence. Smart Summon is a Full Self-Driving feature that allows owners to bring their car to them using the mobile app. The feature is useful in helping owners safely summon their vehicle from tight spaces, especially narrow parking spots. While Tesla owners have had mixed reviews of Smart Summon, the convenience of this feature became abundantly clear in a viral 2020 video that shows a Tesla Model Y exiting a flooded parking spot with ease.
This video proved the practicality of the Smart Summon feature, which allowed the user to retrieve their Model Y in a sticky situation where access was obstructed by unforeseen weather conditions. Although Tesla’s current Smart Summon feature is a step in the right direction for fully automated parking, Tesla owners are more enthusiastic about Reverse Summon. Reverse Summon would allow an owner to get out of their vehicle at the entrance to a building and have the vehicle automatically find a parking spot and park itself.
When asked about the feature in March of 2020, Elon Musk responded: “We need to finish work on Autopilot core foundation code & 3D labelling, then functionality will happen quickly. Not long now.” A year later, Autopilot & 3D labelling have improved drastically but not much has been said about the new feature. New information from an unsubstantiated Reddit post reveals that we could see the Reverse Summon feature in an upcoming update very soon.
In the Reddit post, user u/110110 states that Tesla's "Reverse Summon" feature has supposedly been made available to engineers for testing, meaning it's getting closer to wide release. The insider also mentions that the feature would include parking options such as "closest to the door", "near cart returns", or "end of the parking lot". This makes Reverse Summon a much more dynamic feature than Smart Summon in that the user is able to pick how and where the vehicle is parked, based on their preference. Thus far, Tesla engineers’ reviews of the feature have been “quite good”. Based on this news, we could soon see reverse summon released as "Smart Park, or Self-Parking" later this year although the feature name and release date is yet to be officially confirmed.
While the Smart Summon feature is advantageous for retrieving a parked car, reverse summon could prove to be a more useful and practical use of the vehicle's full self-driving capabilities. This feature would enable the vehicle to find an appropriate parking spot for the owner which would effectively accomplish fully automated parking.
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Uber now has access to Tesla vehicle data that allows it to limit trips within range
In a monumental move towards the future of ridesharing, Tesla and Uber have unveiled a new feature — a range-based trip planner. This integration allows Tesla drivers to connect their vehicles to the Uber app and schedule rides based on the remaining battery charge of their electric vehicles. This innovation is set to redefine the experience of both drivers and passengers in the ridesharing space.
Bridging Tesla and Uber: The New Age of Ridesharing
First observed by Tesla enthusiast and former Uber driver Sofiaan, this range-based planner enables Tesla owners to accept rides in the Uber app based on their vehicle's current charge. The feature is activated only when users permit it, and once enabled, it assigns rides that can be comfortably completed with the existing battery level, leaving a small buffer to reach a Supercharger.
While introducing this feature marks an exciting leap in integrating electric vehicles into the ridesharing world, it has raised some eyebrows over privacy and data concerns. The new feature requires drivers to allow Uber access to their vehicle's data through the Tesla API. While it may cause some apprehension, this innovation is a significant aid for drivers who may be unsure about their Tesla's range or those experiencing range anxiety.
The Driver's Perspective: The Challenge of Balancing Charge and Availability
Driving for Uber or Lyft with an EV can be challenging. Rideshare drivers need to balance the need to recharge their vehicles with the necessity to remain available for passenger pick-ups. This new range-based planner alleviates some of this stress by intelligently allocating rides based on the remaining battery life. Such a feature could be particularly advantageous for those operating in areas with limited fast-charging infrastructure.
This range-based planner promises to improve the rideshare experience for Tesla drivers. With it, drivers will only be offered rides they can complete with their existing charge. This eliminates the dilemma of declining rides due to insufficient battery life, which could result in a penalty from Uber.
Ridesharing and the Future of Autonomous Vehicles
As we look toward the future, this development prompts larger questions about the ridesharing landscape and the advent of autonomous vehicles. Companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lyft, along with emerging players such as Waymo, Cruise, and Ford's new autonomy division, continue to innovate and compete. With the ongoing shifts towards electric and autonomous vehicles, these new technologies and collaborations will play an essential role in shaping the future of transportation.
This initiative by Tesla and Uber is a vital step toward integrating electric vehicles into the mainstream. As we anticipate the further transformation of ridesharing services, one thing remains clear — the ride toward green transportation is accelerating, and Tesla and Uber are at the forefront of this revolution.
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20
Preparations are underway for Tesla's next software update, version 2023.20. Although currently in testing, this update has been drawing attention since it was first noticed last week. Considering Tesla's 2023.12 update brought numerous new features, it appears this next may be smaller. However, we now have our first look at some of the features included in Tesla's 2023.20 update.
Ability to Track Tire Mileage
A noteworthy improvement under the upcoming update pertains to tire service tracking. Post-update, vehicle owners can track how many miles have been driven since their last tire service. This feature can prove valuable for monitoring mileage since your last tire rotation, changing to new tires, or switching between season-specific tires.
You or your service center will need to manually reset the counter each time your tires are serviced. You can view the mileage traveled or reset your counter by navigating to Controls > Service.
The official release notes state:
Go to Controls > Service to see how many miles it's been since your last tire service.
When you get your tires rotated, replaced, or swapped, tap 'Reset' to reset the counter.
Furthering Global Reach: Text Size Adjustment
Another feature gaining more ground is text size adjustment. While 'Text Size' was introduced in the 2023.12 update, the ability to adjust the size of the text in the vehicle's UI was limited to select languages. The feature has now been extended to all languages supported by Tesla. This expansion affirms Tesla's commitment to accessibility for its global user base, ensuring a seamless experience across different regions and languages.
While the Text Size feature in update 2023.12 only applied to the Model 3 and Model Y, it's not clear whether update 2023.20 also introduces the feature to the Model S and Model X. Based on Tesla's feature release history, this feature will likely apply to at least the redesigned Model S and Model X in the futre, but it's not immediately clear whether that is happening with this update.
Large text size feature is now available in all supported languages.
To update your settings, go to Controls > Display > Text Size.
Although Tesla does not provide release dates for upcoming software updates, we may see update 2023.20 start rolling out in the next week or two. This timing can change if Tesla uncovers issues that need to be addressed before a public release.
2023.12 Update: A Look Back
As we anticipate the rollout of 2023.20, it's worth reflecting on the last major update - 2023.12.1. This update significantly enriched Tesla's features, particularly for Model 3 and Model Y. One standout was steering wheel customization. A long press on the left scroll button revealed a host of adjustable settings and functions.
Moreover, introducing the new search function facilitated more accessible access to controls and settings, along with points of interest that included photos and reviews. The ability to adjust wipers using the steering wheel scroll wheel emerged as a valuable, undocumented feature.
Perhaps one of the most user-friendly updates was the option of Standard or Large text sizes for the touchscreen display, which now applies to all languages under the 2023.20 update.
Other improvements included optional gear chimes for Model 3/Y, the transition of Tesla's Spotify player to a web-based format, enhanced phone call controls, and vision-based speed assist feature expansion. Tesla also broadened Zoom availability to more countries, added writing support for legacy Model S and Model X in China, and continued to make user interface enhancements.
While this is an early look at the upcoming features update 2023.20, it provides a glimpse into Tesla's continuing pursuit of improving user experience and convenience. There may be additional features in this update that are not listed here since not all Tesla features are available for every vehicle or region.
As we wait for the public release, it's evident that Tesla continues to push boundaries in its software development, setting high standards in the electric vehicle market.
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