Everything we know about the Tesla Model 2

The Tesla Model 2 aims to make electric vehicle ownership more affordable. Tesla probably wouldn’t use the “Model 2” name because it refers to a smaller version of the Model 3 when it was already a more economical version. Tesla’s goal was a $25,000 car, but the Model 3 was also supposed to be $35,000 but ended up being more expensive. The Model 3 is currently priced at just under $47,000 in the US.

When Tesla created the Model 3, they essentially built a smaller, more efficient version of the Model S by removing features that were more expensive or difficult to manufacture. Many switches, vents, and features have been simplified or removed entirely, including the instrument cluster.

This includes replacing physical controls with on-screen controls, such as the glove box knob, mirror adjustment buttons, windshield wiper controls, and many more.

Other controls have been simplified to reduce complexity and therefore cost. Some examples include the streamlined ventilation system and steering wheel buttons. The interior and exterior door handles have also been redesigned to reduce the amount of moving parts.

Back in 2016 when the Model 3 was revealed, it wasn’t entirely clear which features were cost-cutting measures and which were iterations that would become standard on all future Teslas cars.

When Tesla first introduced the new Model S in 2021, it became clear what features might have been cost-cutting measures. We’ve seen a lot of Model 3 features carry over to the redesigned Model S, like a horizontal center display, and a single continuous vent with on-screen controls, but not every feature makes it more.

These were seen as concessions made by Tesla to create a car that was cheaper to manufacture compared to the Model S.

The Model 3 does not have air suspension, cooled seats, a rear screen, or an instrument cluster. It also has a slightly smaller central screen. So what could Tesla remove or simplify more than the Model 3 to create an affordable, compact car?

Tesla will probably keep all the software features just because it doesn’t add much to the cost of the car. Some possibilities might include fewer speakers, removal of heated seats in the back, removal of wireless chargers, and removal of the glass roof. It is unlikely that any FSD cameras or computer will be removed because the FSD package is profitable for Tesla and there are also security features dependent on this device.

It’s possible that the Tesla Model 2 turned into the supposed Robotaxi mentioned at the Giga Rodeo event. Elon previously talked about creating a car without steering wheels or pedals, which would be suitable for a completely autonomous vehicle.

At Battery Day, Tesla said standard vehicles and future models will use lithium iron phosphate batteries. LFP batteries are cheaper to produce and have some advantages and disadvantages when compared to nickel batteries. Tesla will likely use a 4680 LFP battery for the Model 2. This should make the car smaller and lighter, but could also provide less range.

Tesla battery 4680

Tesla’s 4680 cell is named after its dimensions, 46mm x 80mm. They are much cheaper to manufacture, produce 5 times more power, 16% more range, and 6 times more power, making them much more economical than conventional batteries. With 4,680 batteries, the Model 2 is expected to have a range of 250 to 300 miles.

Tesla will use a 4,680-cell structural package in a single body mold to manufacture the Model 2 as efficiently as possible. This combined with advanced robotics will help Tesla achieve economies of scale and manufacture its most expensive cars to date.

Don’t expect a “Model 2” anytime soon, Elon has talked about Tesla ending the CyberTruck truck this year and starting production in 2023. Tesla also has a production Roadster and Semi, which are very likely ahead of the Model 2.

By then, we may see drastic improvements in FSD which could ensure that Robotaxi is completely autonomous. I don’t expect the Model 2 before 2024 at best, but we could see prototypes before then.

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Tesla's FSD Beta 10.12 may be released this week

According to Elon Tesla, FSD may release Beta 10.12 with several major improvements this week.

The last major beta build, version 10.11, started rolling out in early March, but most testers didn’t receive it until version 10.11.2, which was released in April.

Hopefully this beta will come out a little faster than the previous one, but it sure is shaping up to be an exciting one.

Updated car models

The FSD Beta 10.12 will have new, more detailed car models, at least for its sedan model, but may include updated models for all different types of vehicles.

The current perception of the sedan is somewhat abstract. It doesn’t have wheels or many details. The visualization is modeled after the Tesla Model S keychain.

FSD Beta can learn much more than what can be displayed on the screen. However, visualizations are an important way of how the vehicle communicates with us about what it sees and understands. So with the Beta 10.12, a more detailed Tesla car model has been included that has wheels and doors.

Although the FSD Beta has been able to detect open doors for a while now, the model will now visually show us if any nearby cars have open doors by highlighting the door in yellow.

Improvements to unprotected left turns

Turning left unprotected has been the main focus on several betas and it’s clear we’ll see more improvements in 10.12.

Crossing multiple lanes when turning left can be intimidating, even for some human drivers. Tesla is constantly making improvements to make unprotected left turns more efficient and human-like.

For example, the car will now sometimes start to move slowly, anticipating the last vehicle to pass so that you can complete the turn immediately and be out of the way of any other traffic.

According to Elon, the FSD Beta 10.12 will specifically improve “hard” unprotected left turns.

Chuck Cook on YouTube does a great job covering some of those turns left. Below you can see how the latest FSD Beta is taking a left turn onto a main street with a roadblock.

busy traffic

In beta 10.12 we also expect to see improvements in heavy traffic. I haven’t seen many issues with the demo in traffic, except that sometimes the car has a hard time distinguishing between a parked vehicle and a waiting vehicle only.

I’ve had situations where the demo tries to get around a parked car due to a traffic light or traffic, and the demo waits only a few seconds before trying to go around the car.

Hopefully this is one of the areas Elon is talking about when referring to improvements in heavy traffic.

one pile

Elon also mentions that Tesla is making good progress on a single stack. Single stack refers to one set of technologies that will be used for both highway and street driving.

The FSD beta is great, but once you hit the highway, you’ll revert back to the old production version.

The FSD Beta is far from perfect, but driving around the city streets is a mission accomplished and the Beta is actually quite well trying to figure things out.

When we start looking at autopilot on the highway and some of the problems it still has, like bouncing between lane markings or a sudden attempt to center itself in a lane that’s getting wider, those problems are practically non-existent in city driving.

So while the single stack won’t be included in the 10.12 beta, it’s good to know that Tesla continues to make progress.

When Tesla can finally complete its solo program, we should see massive improvements in the use of autopilot on the highways.

release day

The last beta version of FSD started rolling out over a month ago, so a lot of users are definitely eager for the update. Elon said earlier this week that beta 10.12 is “likely” to be released on a large scale this week.

The beta could be in QA testing now, but it’s not likely to be passed to staff nonetheless, as release notes are usually leaked when this happens.

We hope this nice notice will be welcomed to some of us this weekend, prompting us to install the latest beta.

Update: Elon tweeted today, Friday, May 6, that there have been “several upgrades to the base code, so it’s taking longer to debug. Possibly a Wednesday/Thursday release.” So it looks like we’re still a week away from a public release of 10.12 beta.

Building on new construction

More recently, experimental FSD has been a bit behind the times. The latest beta version is 2022.4.5.21, which is almost two major versions behind. This means that FSD Beta testers still don’t have seat heaters in the launcher, dog mode in the Tesla app, browser improvements, pre-car condition improvements and more.

Most of the non-FSD Teslas are now in the 2022.12 release and 2022.16 is expected soon.

While beta 10.12 is not likely to be based on a completely new upcoming build like 2022.16, it will almost certainly be based on 2022.12, which will please many testers.

Tesla seems to be as cautious as ever with beta releases. Recently, it took several beta reviews before Tesla released it to everyone.

Tesla says they’re now in 100,000 test labs in the US and Canada, so they’re right to be careful, but the wait isn’t easy.

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Tesla adds the ability to tilt your screen in the new Model S/X

When the new Model S was introduced back in 2021, it was said to come with a 17-inch tilting center display.

Although the initial plan was to introduce a tilting screen, the displays on the new Model S and the new Model X have remained flat so far.

There is currently no way to manually or automatically tilt the screen. However, it appears that Tesla is now testing an update that energizes the machines that tilt the large central screen.

However, not all vehicles are equipped with the motor to move the screen. Tesla only recently started including all required hardware. It is not clear if Tesla will provide an update for older vehicles. For vehicles with the required hardware, an upcoming update should allow them to be controlled through the user interface.

Twitter user TeslaFrunk just posted a video showing the view tilting from left to center and then to the right.

It seems that the screen rotation will be done by pressing a new button added to the list of controls.

The new button appears to be called “View” and replaces the Glovebox button. When you press the button, you are presented with three options, left, center or right.

Tapping on the desired direction will slowly move the screen to the desired position. This doesn’t seem like something you can change just to use the screen for a moment, but instead as a personal preference.

The glove box button appears to have moved to the lower right corner where neutral was, and the neutral was moved to the bottom of the automatic transmission shaft that allows you to shift your vehicle to Drive, Reverse or Park.

There is no information on what software version this car is running on, but it’s likely to be an early access build or only in-house software.

Some drivers prefer placing the screen in the middle, giving the driver and passenger equal access, while others prefer the screen facing the driver.

This is a welcome option that gives owners more flexibility in how their vehicles are used.

It would be nice if Tesla also offered the option to automatically tilt the screen towards the driver if there is only one person in the car or keep it in the center if someone is in the passenger seat.

The 2022.16 software update is just around the corner. Will this be included in it? We should find out soon.

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