Teslas may soon apply brakes for a consistent experience when regenerative braking is limited

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla may soon support applying the brakes automatically when regen is limited
Tesla may soon support applying the brakes automatically when regen is limited
Forbes

It's challenging to determine Tesla's best feature or the one that has changed driving habits the most, but regenerative braking must be high on the list for anyone who owns an electric vehicle.

After getting accustomed to the system, the brake pedal becomes obsolete.

However, that piece of metal to the left of the accelerator is quickly remembered during cold temperatures or when the battery is fully charged and regenerative braking is reduced or not available.

A feature found in Tesla's latest update (2022.16) appears to address that issue by adding an option to make the car perform the same with or without regenerative braking.

When regenerative braking is reduced and the driver lets off the accelerator pedal the car will automatically apply its regular brakes. This gives the driver a consistent driving experience whether regenerative braking is fully available or limited.

Regenerative braking is one of the most significant factors that make electric vehicles so efficient. While in motion, if the driver applies less pressure to the accelerator or lifts their foot nearly off the pedal to decelerate, most EVs will slow down like the brakes are being applied, but they are not.

This one-foot driving style saves the use of brake pads and sends a charge back to the battery, creating additional energy. Tesla believes this is such an important feature it made the strongest regenerative braking mode standard in 2020.

However, if the car is fully charged, the battery will not take more energy. This system has also been known to act differently in cold climates.

Now, thanks to the 2022.16 update, during those circumstances, specific Tesla's Model 3s and Model Ys will perform the same without the ability to engage regenerative braking.

In the release notes, Tesla stated, "Your car can now automatically apply regular brakes for consistent deceleration when regenerative braking is limited due to battery temperature or state of charge."

According to @greentheonly, this feature is only available on limited Model 3s and Model Ys with specfic hardware. It's possible that Tesla is testing out the feature on very limited hardware or specific vehicles before making it available more broadly in a future update.

Understandably, some drivers may be turned off by the car blending in the brakes without the driver specifically pressing the brake pedal, so Tesla has made this feature optional.

If drivers want to be reacquainted with their brake pedal, then they don't need to enable the new feature; for those who do: tap Controls > Pedals & Steering > Apply Brakes When Regenerative Braking Is Limited. But, again, this is only available for select Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

There's no news on when it will be made available for more broadly.

Another change came through on the latest over-the-air update, so subtle you may not have realized it was there.

After reading this, you may want to check out the display's top left corner. There is a line that is directly above the speedometer. Maybe you've noticed it before and not given it a second glance, but the line provides some valuable information.

The line is in the center if the car is not using or gaining energy, but it turns black during acceleration and green during regenerative braking.

You're not alone if you haven't noticed it or ignored it, as Tesla has made the line thicker and easier to see. This update is also only available for Model 3 and Model Y Teslas.

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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