Despite some controversy, Tesla has not completely stopped production. On the one hand because the American brand temporarily converted one of its production lines to manufacture artificial respirators, on the other hand because if some workshops are stopped, the IT development services are them still active and working tirelessly on improving the services on cars.
Thus, Tesla has just released – directly or following leaks – information around three new products that will eventually complete the range or improve the characteristics of its different models, namely a new "Launch Mode", a new camera application and finally some modifications on the future high performance “Plaid” version of the Model S.
A “Plaid” version of the simplified Model S
One step forward, two steps back? Following the performance achieved by the Porsche Taycan on the Nürburgring circuit in September 2019, Elon Musk had seen red, urgently dispatching on the same circuit a development team unveiling a supercharged “track” version of the Tesla Model S called “Plaid Supposed to bring down Porsche's time. The experiment seems to have done pschit, and apart from some unverifiable statements from Musk (and his fans) on this attempt which looks like a flop, we had no more news of the Tesla Model S Plaid, which obviously had trouble to complete an official lap with an approved time.
This did not prevent the development of this high-performance version to continue, with a stated objective of launching next July (date announced before the coronavirus crisis). However, in a tweet without further explanation, Elon Musk has just indicated that "the Plaid version was going to be simplified because it became too complex". Recall that the Plaid version is a new version of Model S with three engines (against two currently), supposed to bring even more power. It is this configuration that will equip the most powerful version of the future Roadster 2.
Is focusing too difficult, is it a problem of weight or available space? We will not know more for the moment, but the fact remains that after the failure of the Ring, this new setback seems surprising to say the least.
Launch Mode, or how to further improve the acceleration of Tesla Model S and X
When you want to optimize the performance of a car when accelerating from a standing start, there are two ways to do this: increase the torque (instantaneous power at low speed) and / or improve the grip and therefore the ground transmissions for be able to pass power with the least possible loss.
We know that the Tesla, in their most efficient version, are capable of monstrous accelerations, but the American manufacturer is developing a functionality which should further optimize these by playing on the dynamic behavior of the chassis in real time when the driver depresses the accelerator. This new Launch Mode aims to improve traction during strong acceleration from a standing start by modifying its position thanks to the adaptive suspension system of the car, a function available only on the S and X models. According to the updated update notes by a hacker, this function “provides optimal acceleration for closed circuit driving and surfaces offering good traction. Please set the suspension to LOW before launch ”.
To put it simply, we know that when a vehicle is accelerating, the mass transfer takes place towards the rear of it, the car rears up, shedding and reducing the weight of the front axle, which in fact loses part grip and motor skills. By playing on the active suspensions during acceleration, this new mode will lower the front of the car to avoid this behavior, which will have the effect that the chassis of the car remains tilted forward regardless of the starting power, thus promoting better traction. The effect will also be aerodynamic: as the front of the car is lower, less air will pass under the vehicle. This decreases the drag of the vehicle, which results in faster acceleration and better handling. While the rear of the car remains in a slightly higher position, it allows air trapped under the car to escape faster, pinning it to the ground. A method known to race engineers (F1) and dragsters…
The on-board camera recordings finally visible on the car screen
Tesla introduced at the end of 2018 and in spring 2019 two modes of using the cameras integrated in its cars: Dashcam (on-board camera), which uses the cameras to continuously film and record what the car sees in front, behind and on its sides. when it is in motion, and Sentry (sentry) who does the same when the car is parked.
Useful and practical features but whose use has never been very easy since it requires removing the USB key dedicated to these car recordings in order to read the content on a PC, content classified by folders and files with obscure names making the task so tedious that many users ended up turning away from it. It’s amazing that a company as technologically advanced as Tesla’s has never offered a feature to access videos directly in the mobile app, or, at worst, directly on the car screen.
It is this last option which seems privileged for the moment, in an update which could soon be deployed.
On April 3, Tesla made this new Dashcam playback feature available to members of the Early Access Program, a selection of Tesla owners serving as beta testers. We therefore know a little more thanks to their first feedback on this new feature, which therefore allows direct access to the playback of videos recorded on the car screen. This new video player allows drivers to view driving videos recorded in Sentry mode or captured by the vehicle's on-board cameras from four different angles. To view different angles, simply touch one of the camera perspectives available on each corner of the dashboard screen while using the video player. The four recorded camera angles are readable in real time in a synchronized manner, giving the viewer a complete 360-degree view of what surrounds his vehicle at all times.
Tesla did a great job on the video browser for the sentry / dashcam clips. Really like the UI. You get to see all 4 recorded cams in real time and select which one is maximized. pic.twitter.com/sdzDThaodV
– green (@greentheonly) April 4, 2020
Obviously, as with any other video program available on Tesla (we think of Netflix and YouTube), the vehicle must be parked in Parking mode to be able to access the player, via a camera icon which will be available on the dashboard screen. . By touching the icon, the player starts and displays a list of Sentry mode sequences and Dashcam clips.
It is not known when this new feature will be available to all Tesla owners, but it is clear that it is eagerly awaited and that it will make their lives much easier in the event of a collision, road dispute or act of parked vandalism.