All Tesla FSD Visualizations and What They Mean

By Nuno Cristovao

Updated: April 12th, 2022 as of FSD Beta 10.11.2

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.

Tesla FSD visualizations and what they mean
DirtyTesla/YouTube

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

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.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.