Tesla to add 3D terrain to visualizations

Future Feature
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.

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Tesla Model Y, the best selling EV in Q1, wins U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV'

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Kelley Blue Book

Tesla's Model Y has won U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV' award. U.S. News writes "Despite the onslaught of new competitors, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can buy at the moment," U.S. News added, “If you’re in the market, this is an option that’s well-worth a test drive.”

The Model Y was first delivered to owners in early 2020 and was the automaker’s second mass-market vehicle after the Model 3. The Model Y effectively expanded Tesla’s product line to include a new body style. Tesla’s Model Y has rapidly become the company's best-selling vehicle, despite being more expensive than the Model 3. This speaks to the prominence of the Model Y, dominating the widely-popular crossover SUV sector. 

Tesla's Model Y starts at $62,990, making it much more appealing to mass markets than the Model X which starts at $114,990. Tesla's Model X has been offered for seven years, but is still only produced for sentimental reasons, according to CEO Elon Musk.

U.S. News highlights that, while the Model Y offers less cargo and utility room than the Model X, it still includes many of the same tech features and comparable performance. A fully enhanced Model Y has a 0 to 60 MPH of just 3.5 seconds while still having over 300 miles of range and a 155 MPH top speed.

It's no surprise that the Model Y was the recipient of the U.S. News ‘Best Luxury Electric SUV’ award as it topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, U.S. EV sales were up 60% year-over-year, demonstrating the continued shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles.

Tesla had the top 3 best selling EVs

Tesla took first, second and third place with an impressive 52,051 registered units for the Model Y, and 47,682 registered units of the Model 3. These two models alone make up the bulk of the entire U.S. EV market. Tesla also achieved third place with 9,250 registrations of the Model S and seventh place is the Tesla Model X with 4,899 registrations. Tesla remains the leader in EV sales, consistently selling a number of vehicles unattainable to competitors.

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How to add more 'Quick Control' icons in the Tesla app

By Rene Pepin
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app

Tesla completely redesigned their app with version 4.0 last year. Since then Tesla has been quickly iterating on its features with updates and new features coming every few weeks.

With version 4.3 of the Tesla app, Tesla added the ability to customize the Quick Control buttons on the main screen.

You can add up to four buttons, but with this little trick, you can also add a fifth icon.

Add a Fifth Icon to the Tesla App

To add a fifth icon start by long-pressing the row of icons to bring up an editing screen to sort or replace those icons with the ones you use most frequently.

Now here is where the fun starts because it will take a little manual dexterity to add the additional icon but when you do it correctly your sense of accomplishment will out weight your initial frustration.

Here is the trick:

With your right thumb, pick up one of the available icons and drag it over the fourth icon (in the screen above it is the Front Trunk icon), but do not release it.

While keeping your right thumb held down, use your thumb on your left hand to press on the 1st icon (in the screen above it is the HVAC icon), and drag it to the second icon (the Defrost icon). The icon you have brought up will move offscreen to the right into the invisible fifth spot.

Release both fingers simultaneously and VIOLA a fifth icon will magically appear.

Have fun mixing and matching your icons as your needs change. You can update the icon bar as often as needed.

Video

Tesla used to allow users to continue to add an unlimited amount of icons, but it wasn't a great experience so the total number of icons is now limited to five.

Additional Tips

There are several other useful bits of information about the Tesla app that could make it more useful.

For example, you can tap the battery icon at the top of the screen to access charging information. This brings up the same information as tapping on the Charge Quick Control icon.

If you prefer tapping the battery icon, you can remove the Charge icon from the Quick Controls area, allowing you to free up a spot, essentially giving you an extra Quick Control slot.

Wake Up Your Vehicle Quicker

When using the app most commands are executed through the vehicle's internet connection, which requires your vehicle to be awake.

Waiting for your vehicle to wake up could sometimes take up to a minute, but there is a way to speed it up if you're within Bluetooth distance (around 30 feet).

Some commands are sent via Bluetooth, which allows them to be completed even if the vehicle is asleep. This includes locking and unlocking the doors.

When completing one of these commands, your Tesla starts to turn on almost immediately.

If you're waiting for your vehicle to turn on, you can send a command to lock/unlock your vehicle and your vehicle should wake up quicker than just waiting.

Widget

If you've added a fifth icon to your Quick Controls and use the Tesla app widget, then the widget will now display all five icons as well.

No Need to Wait

With the introduction of the Tesla app version 4.0 last year, Tesla quietly rolled out a feature that changes the way you use the app.

Previously, you needed to open the Tesla app, wait for your vehicle to wake up, and then you could send a command to the car, such as using turning on the climate system or using HomeLink.

However, now you can simply open the app, tap your desired function (it'll show a spinning circle) and you can quit the app.

Instead of the command going directly to your car, it will now be sent to Tesla. Tesla's servers will be the ones who wait for your vehicle to wake up, and when it does, Tesla will execute the command.

If for some reason Tesla isn't able to wake up your vehicle due to a poor connection or another error, then you'll receive a notification saying the command failed.

This makes turning on the HVAC system a much more enjoyable experience.

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Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

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