Next Tesla Update Will Include Another Sentry Mode Improvement

2 months ago Not a Tesla App

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I know this is a stretch, but thanks for playing along. If you're curious, there is no word if Tesla is adding KITT's laser powerpack, although the light show is pretty cool. No news on the Olfactory Sensor, but Tesla has Bioweapon Defense Mode. While Tesla doesn't have the Voice Stress Analyzer, its cabin camera analyzes driver attentiveness. The similarities are endless. Has anyone looked for Knight Industries logos at Tesla's Fremont factory? Now should we get into the comparisons between Elon Musk and Michael Knight or Hasselhoff? Let's leave that one for another day.

This will be one of the features expected in Tesla's 2023.4 update, which is also expected to include the ability to automatically adjust the temperature of your steering wheel .

Perhaps the Tesla team was watching some 80s reruns and discovered the cool swagger of KITT because another Sentry Mode improvement is about to be introduced with update 2023.4. When Sentry Mode is enabled , the system will no longer blind passers-by with its bright headlights. Instead of full-on panic mode, it will now emit a gradual pulse of the headlights, ramping them up and down as a sort of warning. Hopefully, this stealthy, calm way of handling the problem will result in fewer surprised people being forced into the spotlight. It will also help when viewing Sentry Mode clips by not washing out the surroundings due to the bright flashes.

Sentry Mode is a modern-day KITT, but instead of playing it cool like the Trans Am, Tesla's Sentry Mode freaks out. Likely every Tesla owner has returned to their car with a Sentry Mode notification. A lot of the time, it is some poor unsuspecting person walking to their car, and suddenly they are blinded by thousands of lumens. KITT would not be impressed.

KITT's advantage was that no one knew it was this technologically advanced car hiding a lot of tricks under the hood. KITT was super stealthy, except for the red light on the front of the shiny black front end, slowly pulsing from side to side. In a cool way, it told everyone, nothing to see here. Keep walking.

In addition to these enhancements, Tesla now lets you use Sentry Mode and Dog Mode at the same time, as well as being able to disable Sentry Mode sounds .

In the prior update, Tesla added the ability to turn off camera-based detection , resulting in fewer Sentry Mode alerts in crowded areas. In some regions, Tesla also added the capability to adjust the length of each Sentry Mode clip.

Tesla continually tweaked and added more features to Sentry Mode in 2022. With the 2022 holiday update Tesla added the ability to view the vehicle's cabin camera directly from the app when Sentry Mode or Dog Mode are engaged.

At that time, the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT) Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was the most advanced vehicle on the planet. The artificially intelligent car could do just about anything, drive by itself, take commands and go really, really fast. Those things all sound familiar. Lots of KITT's features are in Teslas, but there was one item that needed some work — Sentry Mode.

Tesla is cutting edge, even bleeding edge technology, but sometimes returning to the classics can help too. There is no doubt Elon Musk and likely several Tesla fans watched David Hasselhoff play Michael Knight in Knight Rider in the 1980s.

Of course, no one is holding their breath, as several Tesla enthusiasts responded to Musk’s tweet with old-age memes. But maybe those Tesla owners will be pleasantly surprised this week.

Another possible new feature is reverse creep, an enhancement that reverses or moves the car to escape dangerous situations.

There could also be ASS, actual smart summon , which is the ability to call the Tesla to your location or have it drop you off and go to find a parking spot.

Of course, the CEO has hyped this version for several months now. The engineers have been developing the system to use neural nets for navigation and vehicle control instead of just vision.

While Tesla continues ramping up production, it got hammered in the stock market, closing its worst year on record. Although Tesla got rid of its communications team years ago, it would be an excellent public relations move to unveil the most advanced FSD to subscribers to soften the blow.

We are now into that week, and Musk’s timing lines up with a tweet two weeks ago that projected two weeks and last week that estimated a week or two. It also works well for Tesla with a significant event this week. The company reports earnings on Wednesday, January 25th, and this call will be unlike anything the company has experienced in recent memory.

Musk was one of the 1.6 million views the video generated. He responded: 99% of people still have no idea how profound this is. Tesla Owners Silicon Valley jumped on the response by asking the burning question, when is FSD Beta v11.3 coming? Musk replied: I’m reviewing it next week for possible release.

So much fake news about #FSDBeta being vaporware and yet it’s insane how it can handle real world situations like this. A four way stop with pedestrians along with a random cross walk with pedestrian. The lady even waves thinking it was me doing it. 95% of people don’t this.

If you’ve followed Tesla and Elon Musk, you know timelines are not that firm. However, the long-awaited FSD Beta version 11.3 seems to be on track to meet its revised — and revised again — timeline. Musk let his 126.9 million Twitter followers know he is reviewing FSD for possible release.

Tesla offers three stopping modes

Braking is essential to the driving experience, but not all systems are created equal. A regenerative braking system (RBS) is the most significant difference people notice the first time they operate an electric vehicle.

Regen, as commonly referred to, makes it possible to drive a Tesla and never touch the brake pedal (along with some brake blending for slow speeds), not only reducing wear and tear on braking components but putting energy back into the battery. There are some estimates that regenerative braking can add 10 percent more range and extend the life of braking mechanisms by more than 50 percent.

What is Tesla's Regenerative Braking?

Unlike traditional brakes, which rely on friction to stop the wheels from turning, regenerative braking uses the vehicle's electric motor to create resistance to slow down the vehicle. In addition to slowing the vehicle down without the use of brakes, the motor running in reverse acts as a generator and captures the kinetic energy that would typically be lost as heat and converts it into electrical energy, thereby increasing your vehicle's range.

How to Activate Regen in a Tesla

In a Tesla, the regenerative braking system is activated by lifting your foot off the accelerator. The more you ease off the accelerator, the stronger the braking force and the more energy is captured.

Tesla's Power Meter (Regen bar)

Tesla's power meter, also known as the regen bar or line

All Teslas feature a power meter either in the instrument cluster (Model S and X) or the center screen (Model 3 and Y) that displays the amount of energy being captured through regenerative braking, or the amount of energy being used by accelerating the vehicle.

The center of the line is considered neutral. Anything to the left of the center point means energy is being captured, while anything to the right means that energy is being used.

The further the line grows to the left, the greater the amount of regenerative braking is taking place, and the more it moves to the right, the greater the amount of power is being used.

The regenerative braking line is green, while the power line is black (or white when in dark mode). You may occasionally also see a gray line on the left side. This will appear if the vehicle has the 'Apply Brakes When Regenerative Braking Is Limited' feature turned on. This feature introduces a consistent braking experience when lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal when regenerative braking is limited.

You may also see the gray line appear on the left side of the power meter if the vehicle is in Autopilot. This helps the driver understand when the vehicle is using regenerative braking or physical brakes to slow down.

How Does Regenerative Braking Work?

Without getting too deep into Physics, kinetic energy is energy in motion. Therefore, anytime a car slows down, the kinetic energy that is produced has to go somewhere. With traditional brakes, that is heat from abrasion generated from the brake pads squeezing the rotors. But this energy can be used in a different way. In the words of a Tesla engineer, "kinetic energy stored in a moving vehicle is related to the mass and speed of the vehicle by the equation E = ½mv²."

You can see this equation play out every time you drive your Tesla by looking at the vehicle's power meter.

The motor controller manages the torque of the motor. This action helps with both driving and regenerative braking. The position of the accelerator pedal tells the motor controller how much torque is needed. The motor controller then changes this into a voltage or current that produces the correct torque. The rotating force can be positive or negative. When it is negative, it means the vehicle is slowing down, and energy is returned to the battery.

Regenerative Braking Explained

Regenerative Braking Extends the Life of Your Brakes

One of the benefits of regenerative braking is that it can help to lengthen the life of your brakes. Regenerative braking slows the car reducing the work of your traditional braking system. In fact, Tesla estimates that their cars experience 50 percent less brake wear than conventional gasoline cars. Elon Musk predicted that Tesla's Semi would have brake pads that would "literally last forever" because the regenerative system would save those pieces from being used extensively.

It's estimated that regenerative braking captures up to 70 percent of the kinetic energy usually lost during braking and is put back into the battery. As described above, that energy can then extend the range between needing to charge.

Does Regenerative Braking Activate Your Brake Lights?

During regenerative braking, Tesla will still activate the brake lights when the vehicle is slowing down, even if the brakes aren't being used at all. Tesla determines whether to turn on your brake lights based on your vehicle's rate of deceleration. If you're unsure if your brake lights are on, look at your Tesla screen, the car in the display shows the brake lights lit up when the brake lights are activated.

Levels of Regenerative Braking

It's important to note that regenerative braking cannot be turned off. There are two regenerative braking modes for 2020 and older models — low and standard. Tesla recommends that you use standard to maximize your vehicle's range. At some point in 2020, that choice was taken away, presumably to use all the benefits of regenerative braking all the time. However, there were some concerns, as regenerative braking can slow down the car rapidly; therefore limiting traction, the vehicle could slide. Tesla has this warning on its website: In snowy or icy conditions, Model S may experience loss of traction during regenerative braking.

Tire Configuration

The company also notes that installing winter tires may temporarily reduce regen. But the vehicle's systems are constantly recalibrating, so the feel of the vehicle will return to what the driver is used to after a few miles or trips.

You can speed up the calibration process by selecting the type of tires your vehicle is using. To select the type of tires your vehicle is using navigate to Controls

Regenerative Braking Limited or Reduced

Regenerative braking is not available or can be limited during certain conditions. If this happens, you may see a dotted line in the vehicle's power meter. If the battery is fully charged, there is nowhere for the kinetic energy to go. Consequently, regen won't work. It also has limited usage during cold weather due to a cold battery. In these cases, you can choose to activate 'Apply Brakes When Regenerative Braking Is Limited' to provide a consistent slow down experience. Tesla stated, "Your car can now automatically apply regular brakes for consistent deceleration when regenerative braking is limited due to battery temperature or state of charge." But the company did leave this as a preference, and the option can be turned off. You can activate it under Controls

Stopping Modes

Regenerative braking works best at certain speeds, if you're traveling too slow, regenerative braking may be limited or not available at all.

In a Tesla, your vehicle will use regenerative braking whenever you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. However, if you're using Tesla's 'Hold' stopping mode, which allows you to drive with a single pedal most of the time, the vehicle will automatically blend in the vehicle's brakes when traveling 4 MPH (6.5 KPH) or slower.

If you're using Tesla's 'Creep' or 'Roll' stopping modes, the vehicle will never apply the brakes when lifting your foot off the accelerate, which means the vehicle will continue to roll at slow speeds when regenerative braking is no longer effect.

A Brief History of Regenerative Braking

Tesla used regenerative braking in its first car — The Roadster, in 2008. A year later, the same mechanics of the system were implemented in Formula 1. It is called KERS, which stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System. It provides such a horsepower boost that it was banned for a season before being regulated the following year. However, this advanced system dates back to the late 1800s.

The Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company is the earliest known use of the technology in 1886. General Electric used regen in 1936 in its locomotives, and Oerlikon, a Swiss company utilized some components of the system in its gyrobus. The Amitron, a concept electric car created by the American Motor Car Company included regenerative braking in its designs. Toyota introduced the technology to its brand with the Prius Hybrid in 1997 and GM's EV1 had regen when the company sent the cars to the crusher.

Regenerative braking is now a staple of the electric vehicle experience, not only reducing maintenance costs but also improving the vehicle's range and letting drivers accelerate and slow down with a single pedal.
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