After leaks of Tesla’s holiday update spilled out to the internet this week, Tesla decided to do something they’ve never done before, officially announce what’s contained in the Holiday update before it ships.
The post on X outlined a number of new features (see below), but the most interesting is one called High Fidelity Park Assist. This will show a 3D reconstruction of your surroundings on the car’s display while parking.
Those who own a Tesla will know that the software currently shows distance estimation to objects around your vehicle by showing orange or red lines as you get closer and need to stop. This distance estimation is complimented by a distance number presented in centimetres or inches.
In newer Tesla vehicles, they dropped the ultrasonic sensors that previously powered this feedback to the driver, in favour of a vision-only approach, in line with the approach for Autopilot and FSD driver assist systems.
As the Full Self-Driving Beta software has evolved over the years, Tesla has advanced the way it represents the world around the car.
This upcoming update, which is due next week, appears to be a significant step up in Tesla’s ability to represent objects around the vehicle, particularly in the way it represents vertical voxels.
Usually, Tesla shows other vehicles detected as models of the vehicle category, a Sedan, an SUV, a Ute, a Bus, a Bike etc. What we see from the image released today is something very different. We can see the shape of the car is sculpted, almost like a clay model of the car, however, the dimensions and shape of the vehicle appear to be derived from the actual shape next to the Tesla.
Tesla has 8 cameras around the car that provide video feeds into the on-board computer which processes the data and outputs what it sees to the visualisation. With the level of precision being shown here, it should be much easier for drivers to park their vehicles and avoid objects like other vehicles, bollards, curbs etc.
You’ll note the orange bollards shown in this graphic are the closest items to the car which represent a potential collision when reversing, as such they are coloured in a deeper orange, while the cars beside the Tesla have a warm orange glow, important to monitor, but not in imminent danger of collision.
With the space around the vehicle understood by the occupancy network (soon to be replaced with V12 and end-to-end Neural Nets), controlling the vehicle is effectively like controlling vehicles in a video game.
If you look carefully, there’s a suggested grey path poking out from under the vehicle. This suggests the car has FSD and is proposing a route to follow, if the user engaged Beta at the time. If it was blue, FSD would be engaged, which it is not in this picture.
It appears that Tesla’s struggles to vertically represent voxel height that isn’t horrendous are over.
One question I have is why would this level of detail only be available while parking. Why wouldn’t Tesla make this available when driving everywhere? Perhaps the compute necessary to calculate at this level is vast and this wouldn’t work at higher speeds, particularly with much of the fleet on HW3.
Musk has said the performance requirements of running FSD V12 is lower than V11, so its possible there’s more to come with this story.
The full feature list of Tesla’s Holiday Update for 2023.
Custom Lock Sounds
Replace the horn lock sound of your vehicle with another sound
LAN Party on Wheels
Play your favorite games on the rear touchscreen
Rear Screen Bluetooth Headsets
Parents, rejoice. Rear passengers can now use wireless Bluetooth headphones when watching shows or playing games on the rear screen
Listen to millions of the world’s most popular podcasts
Tesla App Trip Planner
Use the Tesla mobile app to plan a multi-stop trip and send it to your vehicle
Speed Cameras on Route
Navigation now includes speed cameras, stop signs & traffic lights
Automatic 911 Calls
Your vehicle will automatically call 911 if an accident triggers the airbags
Blind Spot Indicators
The blind spot camera will alert you with red shading when your turn signal is on and a car is detected in your blind spot
More Live Sentry Cameras
When viewing vehicle surroundings from the Tesla app, you’ll now have access to the left and right pillar cameras for a total of 7 angles
Enjoy a thunderous new Light Show called ‘The Arrival’
Castle Doombad is now available in the Tesla Arcade—plus updates to Beach Buggy, Polytopia & Vampire Survivors
*Availability varies by model and location
Tesla’s Holiday Update includes a 3D reconstruction of your surroundings using vision-only. Will show actual vehicle dimensions rather than models for types