All Tesla FSD Visualizations and What They Mean

By Nuno Cristovao

Updated: September 21st, 2022 as of FSD Beta 10.69.2.2

Tesla has slowly added more visualizations to the car display, showing what the car can detect and respond to in its environment. Tesla initially showed just road markings and some vehicles, but then slowly added more vehicle types, pedestrians and traffic cones.

However, with the release of FSD Beta version 9, Tesla has drastically increased the amount of objects the car can visualize and interact with.

The visualizations in the car aren't tied one-to-one with what the car is capable of detecting and using to make decisions. However, Tesla keeps visualizations and object detection closely coupled so that drivers have a good understanding of what the car can see.

Unidentified Objects

FSD Beta 10.69.2 will now display objects it can not recognize
FSD Beta 10.69.2 will now display objects it can not recognize
Not a Tesla App

As of FSD Beta 10.69.2 the vehicle visualizations will now display unidentified objects or debris. The shape of the visualization will not match the actual object, but it will be displayed as a pile of debris.

This lets the driver know the vehicle is aware of an object in its path or surroundings, but that it can not yet idenfiy what the object is.

Vector-based Lanes

Vector-based lanes
Vector-based lanes
Chazman/Twitter

As of FSD Beta 10.11, your Tesla will now display vector-based lanes. This means that the lanes are not just raster-based lines drawn in a 3D environment, but that Tesla is actually building the lane markings with vector-based graphics.

This gives Tesla additional freedom when choosing how to display the lanes on the car's display.

With this update, Tesla now fills in the lane in blue when your vehicle is changing lanes. This was something Tesla couldn't do before since the lane markings were just drawn lines.

The new vector-based graphics will scale well to any size and reduce blurring and pixelation you normally see on the display with lane markings and road edges.

Since lane markings are now vectors, hopefully, Tesla will soon apply the same process to other markings, such as the road edges.

Scalable Vehicle Models

All vehicles that Tesla displayed were pre-defined static-sized assets. However, in the 10.10.2 FSD update, we are now seeing Tesla scale individual vehicle models so that they represent the calculated size of surrounding vehicles. Contextually this could be helpful in better understanding our car's situation in the world.

Tesla now shrinks or stretches the 3D vehicle models in each dimension so that the 3D model matches the calculated dimensions for each vehicle. This is especially apparent in longer vehicles such as buses, trucks, and tractor-trailers, where the vehicle lengths are more likely to vary, but you can also see it scale other vehicle models such as very small cars.

In this example below, you'll see that Tesla is now able to accurately represent buses of different sizes. Tesla only has a model for a full length bus, but in this case, Tesla detected that the length of one of the buses is considerably shorter than the vehicle model so it chose to reduce the length of the bus to the length Autopilot had calculated. In the image below you can see how the same bus model is shown in two different sizes.

Tesla adds scalable vehicle models to the latest FSD Beta
Tesla adds scalable vehicle models to the latest FSD Beta

You can also read more details or see additional examples of Tesla dynamically scaling vehicle models.

Road Users

Vulnerable road users or VRUs as Tesla calls them are pedestrians and other users of the road that the car must be especially careful with.

Tesla already does a good job displaying some of these, but there is room for improvement here since it’s such a critical area. We hope that Tesla will add additional animals and sidewalk detection in future updates.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians are one of the few objects that feature an animation. If the pedestrian is walking, you'll see them animated on the screen.

Tesla FSD visualizations
FSD Beta visualizations start representing the real world
DirtyTesla/YouTube

Bicycles

Bicycles are visualized separately from motorcycles.

Dogs

Tesla recently added a visualization for a dog which shows up for dogs and other similarly sized animals. It's likely Tesla will add more animals in the future such as squirrels, deer and other common animals seen on roadways.

Tesla FSD visualization of a dog

Objects

Garbage/Recyling Bins

This is an object that's also displayed outside of the FSD Beta.

Traffic Cones

Traffic cones are also displayed outside of the FSD Beta and are displayed in orange. The car will display them for cones, construction barrels or sometimes mailboxes.

Speed Bumps

The car has been reacting to speed bumps for the last few betas, but they're now visualized on the screen with small arrows on them, which is a nice improvement.

Tesla visualization speed bumps
As of beta 10.4, speed bumps now appear in the visualization
Frenchie/YouTube

Poles

These poles can often be seen on the side of some highways and are displayed as short gray sticks at the edge of the road.

Tesla visualization poles
FSD Beta shows a visualization for small poles
Frenchie/YouTube

Vehicles

Tesla displays the most common vehicle types. Obviously, Tesla will need to expand this list once they expand to some other countries where other vehicle types are popular. Elon has said in the past that Tesla will visualize other Teslas specifically in the car. Recent car data shows that Tesla is already identifying whether a car is a Tesla and what model it is. This is a nice addition, but really would likely have little benefit to FSD. Tesla may provide car-to-car communication if it detects there's another Tesla nearby, which could make some situations easier, such as the right way of situations.

Another vehicle type I'd like Tesla to react better to and visualize are trailers. There are many types of trailers and they often have segments you can see through, so this may be a little tougher, but it's an important vehicle type to add.

New Vehicle Models

Vehicle models are now much more detailed
Vehicle models are now much more detailed
Not a Tesla App

FSD Beta 10.12 introduces new vehicle models for almost every vehicle type.

Some of the vehicles have been completely redesigned and are more detailed and realistic looking than the previous models.

For example, a sedan now has wheels, windows and a glass roof, instead of the previous simplistic look that resembled a Model S keyfob.

Vehicle models are now much more detailed
Vehicle models are now much more detailed
Tesla_Raj/Twitter

Tesla currently shows seven different vehicle types, which include:

  • motorcycles
  • sedans
  • minivans/SUVs
  • pickup trucks
  • small trucks
  • tractor trailers
  • buses

Own Vehicle Attributes

When Autopilot is enabled you'll see a single line that determines the path the car is going to take. This is similar to using Navigate on Autopilot on the highway, except in this case the visualization is dotted and changes color.

Creep Visualization

A new visualization was introduced in FSD Beta 10.69 that allows you to visually see how far your vehicle is expected to creep forward. Prior to this visualization it was impossible to determine how far your vehicle was going to creep, which could make the driver feel uncomfortable in busy areas.

You can now visually see until where your vehicle will creep forward
You can now visually see until where your vehicle will creep forward
Chuck Cook/YouTube

Vehicle Path

The vehicle's intended path
The vehicle's intended path
DirtyTesla/YouTube

The line in front of the vehicle denotes the path the car is planning to take. The color of the path will vary, letting you know whether the car will be accelerating or braking at the given location.

As of FSD Beta 10.8, the line is now continous and blue. The darker blue portion of the line denotes that the vehicle will accelerate until it gets to the faded blue portion of the path. The faded blue segment represents when the vehicle will stop.

This is extremely helpful as it lets you know when the vehicle is planning to stop.

Prior to FSD Beta 10.8, the vehicle's path was shown as a dotted gray and teal line. When the dot is teal it shows that the vehicle is planning to continue moving at that location.

Tesla visualization displaying teal dots and what it means
The teal path represents when the car will accelerate
DirtyTesla/YouTube

In contrast to the teal path, the gray line denotes that the vehicle will not be accelerating at that location.

Ultrasonic Sensor Arcs

If the vehicle detects an object through its ultrasonic sensors, it will display an arc on the display in the direction of the object. The arc will change color depending on the distance of the object. The colors range from gray (furthest away), to yellow and red (closer object).

Road markings

There are various markings on the ground that help aid drivers and pedestrians.

Stopping Line

When coming to a red traffic light or a stop sign, you'll see the stopping line displayed. You may see it displayed in the car even if it's not on the road itself.

Crosswalks

Crosswalks have been displayed in FSD Betas for a while, but recently their visualization has been changed to a solid gray area inside of a pair of parallel lines. I'd like to see a texture added on top of these to include the often used crossing stripes on crosswalks.

Tesla displaying crosswalks

Arrows on Road

Arrows on the road which are often used to display which direction you can go in the given lane are displayed in the visualization.

Tesla visualization displaying road arrows

Images on the Road

Tesla FSD railroad crossing
Tesla FSD railroad crossing

Certain roads may contain images directly on the pavement to indicate a special use case. The car can correctly identify bicycle lanes, railroad crossings and handicap parking spots.

Tesla FSD can identify handicap parking spots
Tesla FSD can identify handicap parking spots

Words on the Road

Sometimes words are painted directly on the road. The car will only display a small subset of words that are seen while driving. You may see Stop and some others, but it's important to note that the car is not able to decipher each letter on the road and put together a word. The text shown in visualizations is predetermined.

Road Chevrons

You may occasionally see chevrons displayed in your lane. This visualization is not mimicking a real world object, but is instead used to let you know the car is slowing down because your lane is moving much faster than adjacent lanes.

Object Colors and Attributes

Sometimes you may see an object in the visualization change color. There are various visualization that change color to represent a special meaning.

Red Pedestrian

Similar to when a vehicle turns red, you may see a pedestrian flash red if your car is approaching a pedestrian too quickly.

Tesla warning you about a pedestrian
Tesla warning you about a pedestrian

Red Stopping Line

You'll sometimes see a stopping line turn red if you're approaching a stop sign or red light.

Blue Vehicle

If a vehicle turns blue in the visualization it means that this vehicle is in or will be in the direct path that your vehicle is planning to take. It will return to it's normal shade of gray once it passes.

Tesla visualization displaying blue cars and what it means

Red Vehicle

A vehicle will turn red when immediate action is required, such as in a Forward Collision Warning. The car has deeme that its rate of speed is too high based on the distance and speed of the vehicle in front of you.

Dark Gray Vehicle

A vehicle will turn a darker shade of gray if it's considered a lead vehicle. Your car uses a lead vehicle to help determine what to do. If your car is headed in the same direction as the lead vehicle it will follow it and use the lead vehicle to help determine the path your car should take.

A dark gray vehicle represents a lead vehicle
A dark gray vehicle represents a lead vehicle
DirtyTesla/YouTube

Brake lights

Brake lights are now displayed on other vehicles. This helps give the car another cue of when to slow down instead of basing it on the distance of the vehicle alone.

Elon has already said that Tesla will be expanding this beyond just brake lights and we'll see the car detect and react to turn signals, hazards, hand gestures and more.

The brake lights visualization has been improved
The brake lights visualization has been improved
@FrenchieEAP/Twitter

Traffic control

Traffic Lights

Tesla FSD displays traffic lights with arrows
Tesla FSD displays traffic lights with arrows

Traffic lights are displayed in collections of three and will display solid or flashing colors. The car will also display red, yellow or green arrows. You may see traffic lights displayed in other areas that use flashing lights such as "slow" signs or railroad crossings.

The visualization in the car is currently only capable of displaying the traditional three traffic lights, so regardless of how many lights there are in the object your car is detecting, it'll always display a 3-light traffic light.

Tesla visualization traffic lights

Speed Limit Signs

The car will detect and display various speed limit signs. It's not able to detect arbitrary signs, such as 23 MPH, but it will display predetermined speed limit signs.

Stop Signs

Stop signs are also displayed in red. As Tesla continues to develop FSD, I'd love to see Tesla augment real world data with map data. If the car is at an intersection that it knows there are stop signs in all directions, that's useful data when deciding when to go. It would also be a useful aid when someone is not in Autopilot, warning drivers that the crossing street does not stop.

Lines & Curbs

The car will display major lane markings and display them based on the road width and curvature. The car determines the road edges using only vision and it does not rely on map data to determine where roads are located or configured.

Single/Double Yellow Lines

Tesla visualization red lines showing a curb

The car will display continuous yellow lines and display them in yellow on the display.

Continuous/Dashed White Lines

Continuous white lines are also very accurately displayed

Red Lines

Red lines in the visualization determine the road edge and determine the driveable area for the vehicle. The red line may be at the same location as a yellow or white line if there is no space before the curb. You may also often see a large gap between a white or yellow line and the red line, which can be due to an emergency lane or large space before the curb.

Future Visualizations

Tesla continues to add more objects that the car is able to detect, react to and visualize in every update.

The latest update added speed bumps and improved sidewalks. The car can already detect emergency vehicles, but they're not displayed on the screen yet, but we know they're coming as models have already been found in recent Tesla firmware.

Teslas will soon be able to identify various emergency vehicles, including motocycles. They will also display sirens on the vehicles.

Tesla has come a long way in a short period of time with how many objects they're able to detect, but obviously when you compare the environment the car sees to the real world, there is still a lot missing.

In the short-term we'll likely see a bunch more objects visualized. We'll likely see other common objects added, especially if they appear on the road, such as trailers and gates.

In the future, I think we'll see Tesla display a rich, fuller 3D environment that will display static objects that the car will want to avoid in case of an accident, such as buildings, walls, trees, sidewalks and more.

Have a visualization we missed? Let us know and we'll add it.

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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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

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

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