Tesla to add 3D terrain to visualizations

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla to show 3D terrain to visualizations
Tesla to show 3D terrain to visualizations
DirtyTesla/YouTube

As FSD has improved over the years, Tesla has added additional visualizations to the car's display. The car display shows what the car can see and react to in its surroundings.

In early 2018 Tesla showed only certain types of vehicles and lane markings using only the front-facing cameras.

Tesla slowly started processing data from additional cameras and showed more types of vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic cones.

They now show a large variety of objects from trash cans, traffic lights, dogs, speed bumps, and even dynamically resize vehicle models to match their real-life size.

Tesla only shows a fraction of the objects it detects in their visualizations. For example, Tesla's FSD Beta can detect open car doors, emergency vehicles, and more, but these objects are currently not shown on the display, they likely will be in the future.

Although the car does not use the visualizations for Autopilot, the visualizations still play a crucial part in helping the person behind the wheel understand how well the vehicle understands its environment.

Understanding lane markings, road edges, and the curvature of the road is only a portion of what Tesla’s FSD system needs to understand.

To properly understand a curve in the road the car also needs to understand elevation changes.

It looks like Tesla is starting to do just that. According to GreenTheOnly, who analyzes Tesla code, he says that Tesla is “preparing to do some sort of a 3d terrain on the viz.”

It's not clear whether FSD may already understand terrain elevations while navigating, but it looks like Tesla will now add elevation changes to their visualizations as well.

Tesla likes to keep the visualizations simple with a sketch-like, gray-tone feel, so we may see roads and surrounding terrain take on a shading effect to visualize hills and valleys.

GreenTheOnly isn’t sure what the visualization will look like either, but we may know more soon as Tesla starts to add more information and assets in upcoming firmware builds to support 3D terrains.

Elon Musk has also talked about Tesla trying to find a way to display objects it detects but doesn’t completely understand what they are. It could be almost anything; a strange object on the sidewalk, lumber hanging out the back of a pickup truck, or a newspaper vending machine.

The car understands there's an object there, but trying to visualize this object in a way that makes sense for humans is tricky.

In the future, we may even see a more complex 3D environment that will display static objects such as buildings, trees, sidewalk curbs, and more.

We could also see different colors and textures based on the type of terrain (flat gray pavement or textured greenery).

Tesla's MCU chip is already capable of rendering 3D video games, so it's conceivable that it could render a more accurate image of its surroundings.

Tesla initially planned for all FSD visualizations to be rolled out to everyone, even if they didn't have the FSD Beta.

Elon first mentioned visualizations being available in Europe in October of last year, so we’re hopeful Tesla is still planning for this.

Tesla Introduces Most Affordable Car: Long Range RWD Model 3 with 363-Mile Range for $34,990

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has brought back the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive variant, which starts at $42,490. However, due to the batteries in the Long Range model, it qualifies for the $7,500 federal EV rebate. This makes this new model the cheapest model in Tesla’s lineup after the federal rebate that comes off at the point of sale.

After the federal rebate, this model is $34,990, exactly $4,000 less than the standard RWD model with the smaller LFP battery.

Improved Range

The Long Range RWD variant boasts a range of 363mi (vs 341mi for the AWD, and 272mi for the regular RWD), and a 0-60mph of 4.9sec (vs 4.2sec for the AWD). This makes the new Long Range RWD Model 3 Tesla’s longest-range economic vehicle (Model 3 / Model Y). The Model S AWD boasts an impressive 402-mile EPA estimate.

Other than the lack of a front motor for handling in rough or slippery terrain, or having a faster 0-60, the Long Range RWD is a fantastic option for most people.

It’s worth noting that only the Long Range AWD model can unlock Tesla’s Acceleration Boost, which increases power and reduces the vehicle’s 0-60 times by about half a second.

Model

Price

Price After Rebate

0-60 MPH

Range

Model 3 RWD

$38,990

-

5.8s

272mi

Model 3 LR RWD

$42,490

$34,990

4.9s

363mi

Model 3 LR AWD

$47,490

$39,990

4.2s

341mi

Model 3 Performance

$54,990

$47,490

2.9s

303mi

Availability

For now, the Model 3 Long Range RWD model is only available in the United States, with no availability in Canada.

Tesla FSD V12.5 to Combine City and Highway Stacks, Introduce Vehicle-to-Fleet Communication and More

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

As FSD V12.4.3 continues to get released to more vehicles, Elon Musk has posted that FSD V12.5 is already in testing and will include several key features.

The improvements in v12.5 are supposed to focus on rarer, more complex situations and vehicle-to-fleet communication. Tesla’s Autopilot lead, Ashok Elluswamy, also mentioned that FSD would gain the ability to go in reverse around this time.

Merge City & Highway Stacks

FSD v12 has been a multi-stack setup so far, with a city-streets stack that is end-to-end, and an older highway stack that was carried over from v11. FSD v12.5 will once again merge the city/highway stacks according to Musk, who confirmed the feature yesterday. That means that there will no longer be an implicit highway stack.

This could cause some regressions during highway driving, similar to the ones we experienced when Tesla first merged highway and city stacks back in FSD v11. Ultimately, when the issues were ironed out, we ended up with a smoother and better Autopilot experience on the highway. When FSD v12.5 rolls around, we may see some similar issues but expect FSD v12.5 to do to highways what v12 did for city driving.

Vehicle-to-Fleet Communications

Tesla’s FSD relies heavily upon maps, with the mapping information designating routing and lane changes. When vehicles encounter difficulties, they are unable to communicate that back to the rest of the fleet. This results in every vehicle encountering the same problem. With FSD V12.5, vehicles will be able to communicate road closures or other obstacles back to the rest of the fleet in real-time. This will turn FSD into software that’s constantly improving as the fleet gathers more data, instead of having to wait for a software update.

Cybertruck Finally Gets FSD

In a recent post on X, Musk also confirmed that V12.5 will finally bring FSD to the Cybertruck. Currently, all Cybertrucks only have access to Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC). Autopilot and FSD capabilities should arrive alongside all the other features.

Actually Smart Summon

Musk has talked quite a bit about Actually Smart Summon. With FSD 12.5, the new vision-based summon may finally be released. This will introduce Smart Summon capabilities to vision-only cars for the first time. However, it’s expected to be a drastic improvement for all vehicles in similar ways to the new Autopark. The new summon has been tied to the ability to move the vehicle in reverse by Tesla’s Autopilot lead, so expect either both of them to arrive in FSD 12.5, or be held off for a later release.

Release Date

Musk originally mentioned that FSD V12.5 would be released in late June, however, there were several delays with FSD 12.4 and that time frame has now come and gone. FSD 12.4 was initially released in May 2024, but it went through several lengthy revisions before it was introduced to public testers. Going by that time frame, it appears that FSD 12.5 was expected to be released about 4-6 weeks after FSD 12.4. If FSD 12.4.3 is finally got a good spot, we could see FSD 12.5 become available in the next 4-6 weeks or about late August.

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