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  • Teslaverse #10: ⚡️ CyberCab design — Tesla Semi update — OS for Tesla fleets

Teslaverse #10: ⚡️ CyberCab design — Tesla Semi update — OS for Tesla fleets

Hey, Jaan here.

Welcome to our monthly special edition that focuses specifically on Tesla. It’s useful to keep up with Tesla and entertaining too, but in case you want to opt out of these, just send me a reply with “out” and you’re good. 8 of you have opted out so far.

Before we kick off, this one’s relevant for all of our European readers — Tesla Takeover takes place in Austria THIS WEEK on 24th-26th May, organized by Tesla Owners Club Silicon Valley and Tesla Club Austria. You’ll want to be there.

Today, we’ve got great topics like:

  • Beast launches an operating system for Tesla fleets;

  • Tesla gave us new hints on Cybercab design;

  • Updates on Tesla Semi from the ACT presentation;

  • Tesla Spring Update brings a bunch of new features;

  • Boris Johnson tries FSD;

  • … and more

Make sure to read this issue in online version to see the images and videos (a way better experience).

Words: 2,906 | Reading time: 11 min | Feeling: just canceled all my plans for 8/8

Our monthly Teslaverse editions wouldn’t be possible without our partner — Beast Rent. As the perfect coincidence today, now they’ve got news that I’d report on my newsletters anyway:

Beast, the premium Tesla rental service, packed their know-how and the proprietary software they’ve built into a standalone product:

With their system, you can run your own B2C, B2B, and P2P operations under your own brand, with solutions like

Instant Rentals: Open app, rent a vehicle, get in
Bookings: Loved by airport travellers
Subscriptions: For full-service rental offerings
Peer-to-Peer: World's first premium P2P solution via Tesla SSO

I’ve used their service a bunch myself, and among other stuff, I like their easy but smart safety layers. They’ve got automatic license verification and biometric auth check-ups. And the fact that their system has gamification built in for… you know, today’s world.

I’d say they’ve got the receipts by now, too. Beast’s own fleet, running on the same system they built, has served over 4 million km (2.5M miles) with a 4.8/5 satisfaction rate for the past 3 years.

So if you run or plan to run a Tesla fleet or know someone who does, be it private use or publicly rented, and would want to connect with the team, let me know and I’ll make the necessary intros. I’ve already sent a few of my friends (from US and EU both) their way. 

PS, no, I am not required to write so much about them here. I’m just frunking excited about the way the team moves. :)

CyberCab design 👀 

Tesla uploaded a 2-minute video for shareholders encouraging all to vote.
Regular stuff. However…

…since Tesla, and Musk himself, love leaving little clues here and there, and we got some on this video too. Specifically, we saw some hints at the potential CyberCab, the fully-autonomous EV Tesla is set to unveil on 8th of August (8/8), and Ridehailing app versions.

🕵️ First up, we got a glimpse of a potential Tesla Cybercab interior design. This one seems to feature two seats, no steering wheel. (link) I combined the two different shots for you:

(share this on X)

Looks like we’ll get seating for two (maaaaaybe three?).

There’s more potentially hidden in this image, too — like the exterior look on the background on the left, and what looks like scissor doors right behind the guy’s glasses here:

There has been a lot of discussion among us whether the doors of the CyberCab would be something like the Falcon Wings of Model X, or go up similar to say… a Lambo.

What I’m also waiting anxiously for is the potential extra storage in the front. I’ve got a feeling they’re up to something there.

These glimpses, of course, could also be just decoys. The one spotted now does look similar to the early design concept we’ve seen with Franz, with some updates on the recent one. Here’s the two for comparison:

This was also shown. I’m not very sure what this detail is — likely in front or end of the vehicle — a diffuser?

Here’s one of my wild predictions: Tesla will unveil a "CyberVan" as the one-more-thing on 8/8, to cover the use cases with more passengers. Why: Looks like CyberCab seats two, Model S3XY seats mostly 4 passengers in the ride-hailing network, and then the CyberVan for 4+?

Speaking of the ridehailing network, the video briefly showed the Tesla ride-hailing app too, which apparently will have a “Summon” button to get a car to you:

Do comment on this post (can do so on the online version), on what you think we saw here today. Now, we’ve got plenty more to cover!

Tech: Tesla Spring Update

Tesla’s Spring software update (2024.14.3) is rolling out, with:

  • a new user interface (v12) featuring immersive full-screen vehicle controls when parked (which you can spin around), a new media player,
    expandable Autopilot driving visualizations, with a smaller map in the top right for trip guidance, and a new charging display. (photos/videos here)

  • Audible as a native media app.

  • Auto Shift Beta (Model S/X 2021 & later) can now also shift between Drive (D) & Reverse (R) based on your surroundings, in addition to shifting out of Park (P).

  • Hands-free trunk opening (“Stand still behind your trunk with Phone Key & the trunk will open on its own.”). Model 3/Y owners can also now Pause the trunk after clicking open, to set it at a certain height. You can also set a max height per location for the trunk lid.

  • Preview of Sentry Mode recordings on the phone app if alarm is triggered.

  • Trip Progress bar, changing as you drive closer to your destination or next stop. Rear passengers can also now see current trip details, time & temperature at the top of the rear touchscreen. Navigation now also shows you, at the top of your turn list, if a faster route becomes available.

  • If you have no passengers in the back seat, the rear touchscreen now turns off when you shift out of Park, to reduce unnecessary energy use. (Models with rear screen)

  • You can now sync your Spotify queue across vehicles & devices & adjust playback speed.

  • Increased Regenerative Braking on Highway (Model S/X 2021 & later)

  • You’ll now hear a chime when approaching a speed camera.

  • High beams now adapt to reduce glare for other drivers and cyclists (vehicles with matrix headlights, in Europe).

Here’s a thread on the updates coming specifically to Cybetruck (link), including
CyberTent mode that levels the suspension and keeps the lights, AC & outlets in the back on;
Trail Assist (like cruise control but for off-roading); you can now engage locking differentials;
Cyberfrunk now detects obstructions better when closing frunk.

NotaTeslaApp also notes that the Cybertruck turning circle was improved by 1.6 feet (achieved by an increase in the turning angle of the front and rear wheels); Zoom calls and cabin overheat protection became available, and more (link).

2024.8.4 adds that Vehicle Alarm now also includes trailer (so if trailer is unplugged, you’ll get an alarm); Tire Mileage Reset, and rear passengers can now connect headphones directly to the rear touchscreen while the rest of the car’s audio can still act independently.

Tesla Semi

Dan Priestley, Sr. Manager of Semi Truck Engineering at Tesla, gave a talk at ACT Expo, and we learned a lot. (43-minute video by Out of Spec)

  • Dan confirms Semi will ramp up to 50k units annually, with volume production starting in 2026 and more large customers begin receiving their trucks this year and next (evidence already here, see below).

  • Tare weights of the truck (aka not-loaded weight):

    • <23,000lbs for the 500-mile Semi (10,433kg)

    • <20,000lbs for the 300-mile Semi (9,072kg)

  • He confirmed 1.7kWh/mile average over 3.5 million miles measured (!), with low weight loads around 1.5 kWh/mile and with max 82klbs weight 2kWh/mile.

Screenshot from 10:19

  • Uptime has been over 95%

  • Because the Tesla Semi is easily capable of over 1,000 miles a day with Megachargers, they can replace diesel trucks 1 for 1.

  • The truck battery can power refrigerated trailers (avoiding need like separate diesel engines for regular trucks)

  • Says they need to repeat Supercharger roll-out with Megachargers, at half the price of today's Megawatt level chargers (industry: $1,000 per kW installed, Tesla $500)

  • They will adopt the final Megawatt Charging Standard (MCS) when volume production starts.

Semi in Europe: During his last Giga Berlin visit, Elon Musk said it could “make sense” to bring the production of the Semi to Germany. He also confirmed that high-volume production in the US will be up and running by the end of the year.

Tesla also shared it started construction of the Tesla Semi site in Giga Nevada

And now we’ve got the first official rendering of the site that Priestley shared in his presentation (sorry for the weird angle, it’s from the video shared above at 13:48):

PepsiCo last week started taking delivery of an additional 50 Semi trucks (have 36 already), and looks like Walmart has now also taken delivery of Semi(s). (link)

S3XY

Here’s a 3-minute video by Tesla where Franz explains designing the new Model 3 Performance. (if you read this newsletter as the online version, you can play these videos right here without leaving the page. If you’re in email, you won’t see there’s a playable video below. Blame small email inboxes 🤷‍♂️ )

On May 18th, Tesla Fremont + Giga Nevada built their 3 millionth car. (link)

  • Tesla launched a Long Range RWD Model Y version in the US with a $44,990 price ($37,490 with EV credit), with a 320-mile range, and discontinued the previous 260-mile RWD version.

  • Musk says Tesla is “working through regulatory approvals” to enable those 260-mile Model Y upgrade for an additional 40-60mi range that can be unlocked for $1.5k to $2k. (link)

  • Also, the Model X Long Range is now the cheapest it’s ever been in the US after a $2k price drop: $77,990, and as it qualifies for the tax credit, it’ll be $70,490. (link) Model S prices were also dropped by $2k in the US, with long-range now $72,990 and Plaid $88k.

  • Oh, and Model S Plaid got sport seats now

  • Tesla also reintroduced a 0% financing offer in Germany (link) which I’ve seen pop up in several markets. Including China (link). Tesla also offers 5,000 km (3.1k mi) of free Supercharging to the first 140 customers ordering a Tesla by 20th of June.

  • A Model Y flips more than 7 times and the passengers reportedly walk away mostly unharmed (video).

I’ve found the Tesla’s new website design for Model Y has a decent way of displaying its expected range, compared to distances between cities (changes per market):

(Supervised) Full Self-Driving

Boris Johnson, yes *that* Boris Johnson, recently got to use (S)FSD V12 in LA (video). Tesla provided a vehicle and assistant for his self-driven experience through 5-road intersections, heavy traffic, and pedestrians. Johnson said:

At the end of about 45 minutes I feel like a driving test examiner – except that I want to tell the car that it has passed, with flying colours.

— Boris Johnson

Tesla team member in the car said (S)FSD will be able to understand human hand signals such as waving the car to move forward as soon as next month, and Musk confirmed on X (link).

The latest update rolling out, (S)FSD v12.4, eliminates the ‘steering wheel nag’ alerts. The driver monitoring system now primarily relies on the cabin camera to determine driver attentiveness (but doesn’t work if camera is occluded, not enough illumination, driver is not wearing sunglasses, hat with low brim or other objects covering the eyes. (release notes) PS — if you’re into that kind of stuff, Comma AI demoed a great video on their driver monitoring system saying they are glad Tesla finally came around on driver monitoring and… I was surprised.

Let’s do some rapid fire here on the stuff I found interesting:

  • Tesla is no longer offering mobile service in Newfoundland — instead, Tesla will now be sending a mobile ranger to Newfoundland once every two months, doing the work in a 3rd -party garage (link)

  • Tesla has reportedly been granted permission to sell automotive emission credits domestically in South Korea starting this year. (link)

  • Tesla ended its current referral program on April 30th. Redeeming is still possible, and a new referral program is launching in a few months. (link)

  • Voting has started for Tesla’s 2024 annual shareholder meeting on June 13th. One of the votes is on ratifying Musk’s $55B pay package. Here’s the Proxy Statement (440-page pdf). If you own shares, go vote.

  • Meanwhile, a lot of the Tesla shareholders overseas have been unable to vote, rejected by the banks and institutions. I want to shout out Alexandra Merz (@TeslaBoomerMama) for the great activist work to identify (surveyed over 2M shares unable to vote) and even managed to help remedy some of the issues.
    For example, the Avanza Bank in Sweden is now making an exception for the 74k Tesla shareholders in its bank so they could vote, same with Nordnet, a Scandinavian investments platform.

  • Tesla issued 13 recalls in the US in 2023, with over-the-air updates affecting 2.1M vehicles and physical recalls affecting just 21,455 vehicles. If you’d follow the news headlines, however…

  • Consumer Reports has named Tesla the cheapest car brand to maintain over a 10 year period, with a total $4,035 10-year cost. (link)

Some of my favorite reads on the Internet: stories on how Tesla’s safe vehicles have saved peoples’ lives.

Here’s the story of how the President and co-founder of Tesla Owners Columbus, Ohio, walked away after going through an accident where he, in his stopped-in-traffic Model Y, was hit by an Audi going ~70mph, then spinning into traffic and run over by a semi-truck at ~the same speed. The Tesla went under the semi per an eye-witness police officer. (video and story | images )

Tesla History: First off, a cool piece from Tesla Supercharger team history. I stumbled upon a Medium article by Tesla Motors, from 2014, which detailed the Tesla Cross Country Rally team going from LA to NY using 24 Superchargers, and achieving a World Guinness Record for the "least non-drive time to cross the US in an EV."

They wrote a blurb about reaching every charging spot, added a picture and distances / charge times. I gathered them all in one X thread here. It was great to see quite a few familiar faces, and even noticed some that are reading this very newsletter (hey 👋).

Latest on Supercharging

I promised you some back-of-the-napkin calculations, which led me to realize something is off with the $500M mark (or myself). I put my rants about in a standalone article here: (link).

Musk also created a public Supercharger Community on his X platform on Friday for “Discussing issues with the Supercharging experience and where next to deploy new Superchargers.”

Meanwhile, BP CEO Sujay Sharma says the company “is aggressively looking to acquire real estate to scale our network, which is a heightened focus following the recent Tesla announcement.” (link)

Dynamic pricing: Here’s how Tesla’s Supercharging prices have changed in Europe this year so far, per country (link). Wonderful work by Electric Maik!

We’ve also seen Tesla making the peak/off-peak charge have a 2x difference (link).

Tesla put up its first electronic displays, at Peine Supercharger station in Germany. It shows info on prices, plugs, and amenities like café, lounge. (link in 🇩🇪, and on X here)

Also, here’s something I predicted for you in our newsletter in 2021: “Tesla will start advertising its vehicles to the non-Tesla owners charging in its public stations.” Now see the display on the right there, calling to schedule a demo drive. Good move.

Btw Peine was their first V4 station in 🇩🇪 opened in November, with 16x250kW available to all EVs. EnBW chargers are also on the site. And not at all less important — this site has the ultimate amenity — the Rausch Schokoladenhaus.

  • Here’s how the Tesla website looked like 10 years ago (link).

  • Starlink is now active in 99 countries, territories, or markets around the world (most recent add: Fiji) (map), and has >3M customers.

  • Neuralink gets FDA green light for a second patient. Here’s the X account and interviews with the first patient, Noland Arbaugh, who is quadriplegic and can now control a computer and phone with just his thoughts (link). I enjoyed the Ashlee Vance interview (link).

  • I found Tesla’s Medium account, with two articles from 2014 — one by Musk himself. (link)

  • You can now book a flight in the SpaceX’s Earth Orbit missions in late 2024 — get a custom SpaceX suit made for you and spend 3-6 days orbiting Earth, or book a flight to the ISS for 10 days. (link) For some reason, they already show a mission to Moon’s orbit too. 🤔 

    Price? If you have to ask how much it costs… you probably can’t afford it.

That’s it for today! This Teslaverse edition went out to 7,048 subscribers.

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I’ll be back with more EV industry insights this week.

— Jaan

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