Elon says Tesla needs to improve the car's software

By Kevin Armstrong
Elon Musk thinks Tesla needs to improve their software
Elon Musk thinks Tesla needs to improve their software
NATA

Tesla’s software needs work. That’s according to Elon Musk, who was highly critical of the interface, the browser and other programs in a video posted to the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley YouTube channel.

“We have a lot of work to do actually with the basic software in the car,” said Musk. “We definitely need to do work on the overall interface in the car.”

It was revolutionary when Tesla started putting large tablets in its vehicles in 2012. The huge touchscreen replaced most of the knobs and switches on the dashboard, giving Tesla yet another way to stand out in the automotive world.

However, touchscreens are relatively standard in most vehicles now, and there may be a few automakers doing it as well as Tesla soon, especially given the upcoming improvements to Apple's CarPlay.

Musk has heard the criticism, “there are a lot of complaints about the interface; you can do better on the interface.”

Musk doesn’t stop with his self-critiquing, “our web browser sucks. If you try to use the web browser in the car, it takes a long time to load, and then it is a trash browser. It’s worse than some iPad from five years ago, like by a lot.”

Tesla's browser is based on Google's open-source browser, Chromium. While the same engine powers Google Chrome, the browser in a Tesla lacks the speed and efficiency Musk expects.

Tesla has been working to improve the browser. Update 2022.12 came with a newer version of Chromium and introduced elements like autocomplete, changes to favorites and the ability to clear your browser cache.

However, this interview was conducted almost three months after that update was first released. Musk is clearly not impressed with the improvements.

He also says the rear screens in the Model S and Model X need a lot of work (rear screens may also come to Model 3 and Model Y).

The CEO points out that the rear screen is helpful to entertain people in the backseat, but the fact that the same audio plays throughout the cabin is less than ideal.

“We could, we should have separate audio for the back. Like, what is the point? We are currently playing the same audio level for the back screen as we do in the front.”

The first minivans with DVD players offered headphone jacks to provide an experience that wouldn't distract the driver.

“The back should play that audio; it should route to a Bluetooth that is keyed off of the rear screen, and then you give them headphones. So people can listen to music in the front and not get blasted by YouTube kids shows in the front, which is currently the situation.”

It's possible Tesla could offer the ability to stream the rear audio to Bluetooth headphones in a future update.

Musk added that "there's a bunch of stuff like that that we need to fix."

Musk did not commit to a timeline on making improvements or even if the changes he suggested will be made. Nevertheless, when a CEO says elements of the product “suck” and are “trash,” employees responsible for those aspects may want to get to work.

Tesla does not currently support CarPlay for a variety of reasons.

Video

Elon talks about Tesla's software at the 37 minute mark below.

Tesla FSD V12.5 to Enable Sunglasses-Friendly, Nag-Free FSD

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has made some significant improvements with FSD 12.4, primarily, the removal of the steering wheel nag under certain conditions. However, there’s a caveat – you can’t wear sunglasses.

According to Elon Musk, FSD v12.5 will introduce support for nag-free FSD, even if you’re wearing sunglasses.

FSD V12.5 is an Upgrade

Ashok Elluswamy, Director of Autopilot Software, also took to X recently to mention that v12.5 is a big improvement to FSD v12.4. While he didn’t mention any specific details, this lines up with some of Musk’s previous comments that each FSD v12 iteration will see major improvements to the FSD model.

Elon also mentioned that while Tesla has a massive fleet of cars, their laser focus on making FSD work, rather than touting every daily achievement – has been their key to making generalized self-driving cars work.

FSD v12 has been pretty much a complete rewrite of the FSD city streets software stack, with drastic improvements over FSD v11. However, certain parts of the software stack haven’t been updated yet. Some features, like the updated highway stack are expected to be in FSD v12.5, which Musk confirmed recently. However, other features such as Park Seek and Banish Autopark, which were expected to arrive with FSD V12.4 are still up in the air.

What about V12.4?

FSD V12.4.3 is currently out to about 5% of the fleet (about 20-25% of FSD users) and hasn’t been pushed out again since about July 10th. Our new auto updating statistics pages can help break this down for folks who are curious.

Update 2024.15.15

FSD Supervised 12.4.3
Installed on 5.4% of fleet
6 Installs today
Last updated: Jul 22, 5:45 pm UTC

Given that it’s been some time since any new vehicles have received V12.4.3, it seems the rollout has been stopped. There could be any number of reasons for this – including software bugs, or a lack of confidence with FSD. Additionally, it could just halted in favor of focusing resources on V12.5.

While we’d love to see more vehicles get v12.4.3, we’re likely to see v12.4.4 or v12.5 being the next big waves of deployments to customers. Either way, early-access testers and Tesla ADAS testers will receive these updates first, and then they’ll roll out to the vast majority of customers once Tesla feels confident there aren’t any major issues. Tesla does all this testing in the name of safety, and it's essential that bug-free versions of FSD are the versions that are rolled out wide.

So, for now, leave your sunglasses on and hang tight for the next FSD update.

Tesla Aims To Launch Cybertruck in Canada After Transport Canada Makes Exception for Steer-by-Wire

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has confirmed that they’re aiming to launch the Cybertruck in Canada later this year. Transport Canada recently granted Tesla and the Cybertruck a unique exemption to allow steer-by-wire functionality (h/t Sawyer Merritt).

Steer-By-Wire Exemption

We previously reported that the Cybertruck was facing delays due to a steer-by-wire regulatory issue with Transport Canada. On Friday, July 19th, Transport Canada issued a message stating that they would exempt the Cybertruck, for all its models, from part of Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which currently doesn’t permit the usage of steer-by-wire systems.

The period that the exemption begins seems to be immediate – July 19th, 2024, and will last through July 18th, 2029, whereafter regulation should supersede the exemption. In the meantime, Tesla will provide a semi-annual incident report, beginning on January 18th, 2025, including information on steering system malfunctions or failures, as well as corrective measures and customer complaints.

It seems that Transport Canada will also have to be notified every time Cybertruck’s steering software is provided with an OTA update, which could result in some update delays in Canada.

Canadian Cybertruck Soon?

With all this information, it sounds like Tesla is aiming to launch the Cybertruck to Canadian customers sometime relatively soon, as they stated they’re still aiming by the end of the year. There is a good chance that they may begin converting pre-orders to orders once Tesla. Tesla hasn’t commented on which model will be available in Canada, but it wouldn’t surprise us if it’s limited to the Foundation series in Canada in the initial release.

We could expect the first customer Cybertrucks (Roshel Defence and a few private importers notwithstanding), to be on Canadian roads in just a couple of months.

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