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 Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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