This post is a bit different from my typical writing, where I do deep dives into my car and my experience. There are so many things, in general, that occur with Tesla. I typically have thoughts about it and want to share them with individuals, especially those that may not know what’s going on with Tesla. I attempt to go back through the timeline and see what has happened with Tesla for the past week. This is the start of my new weekly blog posts, so let’s begin.
New Software Updates
This past week I not only got one software update, but I got two software updates! The first one (2019.36.2.4) was more of a bug fix to a release I already had. Previously I was on software version 2019.36.2.1. I was in Vegas, so I had to mobile hotspot my car to download it before I headed out.
The 2019.40.2.1 was a surprise for me. I received it on Tuesday, and it contained some updates! It had the following new updates in the release notes: Adjacent Lane Speeds, Autosteer Stop Sign Warning, Automatic wiper improvements, and Automatic lane change improvements. Let’s deep dive into the release notes.
Adjacent Lane Speeds
This update helps with when you are in heavier traffic. The first part of it will slow your car down to find the gap. The second piece of it states that if the other lane is going faster than you, it’ll let you know, and you can use your acceleration pedal to squeeze in. I’m sure machine learning will keep learning this behavior and will improve in the later updates.
Automatic Wiper Improvements
Wipers now benefit from machine learning. It’s more sensitive to rain and adjusts based on intensity. And if you engage the wipers manually, that data gets sent back and used to update the model for machine learning so it can further train and improve in the future.
Automatic Lane Change Improvements
A lot of folks, myself included, have complained that lane changes are a bit timid. Especially when you are sitting in traffic, The hesitation can cause frustration to the driver and other drivers around you. I found myself disengaging to make the lane change. With this update, it takes the lane changes with confidence! You can feel it turning sharply into that open spot!
Autosteer Stop Sign Warning
This update adds to Stop Sign Warning that was released previously. It now will detect stoplights while driving through autosteer. We are now seeing features that meant for city driving. The first part is identifying the stoplights. As it learns, it’s probably making a silent decision of what it sees, i.e., stop, so down, or drive forward. This update tells me we are getting closer to feature complete full-self driving for Tesla. I haven’t tested this out, because it’s not safe for me to attempt it.
In June of 2018, Tesla mentioned all orders made after July 1, 2019, will have one year of free Premium connectivity. A year has passed, and we haven’t heard of owners getting charged until recently. Owners started getting emails that they’ll have a month free before subscribing.
Some people are quite upset, but we did see this eventually coming. All these services are costing Tesla money. And as the fleet increases, these costs are exuberant. Say that you have a fleet of 500k vehicles. That’s $5 million of revenue that could be coming in. The way I see it, this added revenue stream helps to get other features out and helps pay the bills.
The only folks I feel awful for are the day one reservation holders that were waiting for MR, SR, and SR+ vehicles. To no fault of their own, their cars were only made available after July 1 of 2018. However, Tesla did state it free premium connectivity will be based on orders received and not on reservations.
New Video Streaming Services
Twitter user, @greentheonly, was able to access root on the Tesla and was able to find some interesting information. Specifically images for new video streaming services. It looks like Comedy Central, Twitch, HBO, and more are coming to a Tesla soon. Most likely, once development for the Tesla specific app is created and tested.
New video streaming sources is fantastic news, as it provides more options for people to watch while waiting at the Supercharger or just hanging out in your car. And once full autonomy arrives, you’ll want more alternatives. Think of the entertainment center on your Tesla as an Apple TV inside the vehicle. This set of services is just the beginning. More streaming services will join soon!
This week, we saw a swap on delivery estimates between RWD & Tri-Motor. When Elon mentioned that more people had ordered Tri-Motor & Dual Motor has more orders than RWD, it was no surprise to see the RWD get pushed off. RWD deliveries slip into 2022, and Dual Motor & Tri-Motor now estimated to late 2021.
As a Tri-Motor reservation order, it’s a bit exciting to be able to finish my order soon. However, I might still wait until 2022 to make my order. I’m in no rush to get another vehicle. Yet, for the minority that ordered the RWD, this delay has met with some frustration. I do feel for them. Though I don’t think it’s a bait & switch, it’s still pre-order estimates.
I was shocked that the lowest margin vehicle was estimated to be released first. I think we will see what happens when these reservations become orders. For those that are still upset, remember it’s still a $100 fully-refundable reservation. Since there are no tax benefits, there’s no real advantage of getting your Cybertruck early.
Elon also took to Twitter to respond to Teslarati about the size of the Cybertruck. It looks like Elon is willing to shave some inches so that it can fit your garage! The updated size will also help with those parking situations. Every time I try to park, I find the large trucks highly annoying, especially in tight parking lots in the city. Adjusting to make it closer to a large SUV will probably help with adoption with individuals outside the Tesla community.
On a side note…
Elon Blocks Reporters
Elon recently blocked a lot of reporters. Many of them have complained. But it is what it is. It’s a social media platform; we can block anyone we want. If someone is always presenting negative views of what you do, it may be beneficial to block the noise.
Also, when certain reporters become the voice of Tesla short-sellers, you can’t be surprised if you are blocked. Do I think Tesla & Elon makes the right choices all the time, no. But I also make sure I am not only looking at sources that presents a negative view. That in itself creates an echo chamber. It’s not that hard to see both views and weigh it out.
Gas Station Protest
There’s a video that’s going around that shows EV blocking gas station pumps to show drivers of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles how it feels to be ICE’d. If you are an EV driver, please don’t do this. It may be frustrating when you see an ICE vehicle blocking a charging spot. But as the adage goes, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Many ICE drivers already view EV drivers as being entitled. Doing this type of protest reinforces that. Also, I believe that many of them are ICE’d purely by accident. If you don’t own an EV, you might not know that some drivers with smaller batteries need public chargers to get around. Instead of taking an aggressive stance, we should start educating them.
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