Attentive Tesla fan spotted unannounced changes

Attentive Tesla fan spotted unannounced changes

Tesla has sneakily added some new features to its fleet during a recent software update but apparently did not consider the updates important enough for a formal announcement, Electrek reports.

This news comes to us via one shrewd Tesla fan who scours the code after each update and figures out what has changed.

In this case, what has changed is the windshield wipers. Tesla does not use a rain sensor, unlike most other automakers, instead relying on its Autopilot cameras to feed its computer vision neural net to determine how hard it’s raining and how fast the wipers should be moving.

This system has not been working well, leading to complaints from some Tesla owners.

The new update allows users to turn off the malfunctioning automatic wiper system, known as “Deep Rain,” if they wish.

The software update also changed the automatic emergency braking feature to allow it to brake for vehicles cutting into your lane, which does seem important.

So despite 11.4.2 release notes not changing from .1, the differences underneath are substantial

There’s now autowiper v4 with ability to disable “deep rain” (I guess that did not pan out all that well)

There’s AEB for cut-in traffic (server side toggle)

And a bunch of more stuff

Another update — and possibly the most alarming one — is that Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta users will now only be suspended from using the feature for one week instead of two for misuses of the system, such as not paying attention to the road while using FSD.

Electrek’s commenters, for the most part, remain unimpressed with Tesla’s automatic windshield wipers, which may account for why the EV maker did not attempt to publicize this software update.

“So the wipers didn’t work as well as cars with rain sensors and the upgrade is to disable a previous upgrade that people didn’t like,” wrote one commenter.

“Elon had to reinvent the wheel and save that $2 that a rain sensor costs. You know, like the 100s of millions of cars out there with them,” replied another.

Meanwhile, a third commenter had a new feature to request, writing, “Need a deer sensor. One jumped in front of me last month and, though deer survived and car damage was only to bumper skin & hood, repair cost is $12,000.”

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