Musk Reads: Tesla Autopilot “4D” release coming

Autopilot set to expand and Model 3 updates rumored. A Tesla e-bike?

Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Autopilot set to expand and Model 3 updates rumored. A Tesla e-bike? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #202.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk quote of the week

“This still isn’t using the dramatically better “4D” (aka simultaneous surround video from 8 cameras) architecture”


Tesla Autopilot is set for a big update. On Twitter this week, Musk explained how Tesla plans to roll out its “dramatically better” Autopilot system, contingent on avoiding unexpected setbacks:

  • Private beta in two to four weeks, which would be the first half of October.
  • Public beta to those who opt in four to six weeks after that, which would be around the second half of November.
  • Tesla owners in the United States will start receiving the update in mid December.

Musk has mentioned before that Tesla plans to update its autonomous driving system. The CEO has described a “Dojo” neural net training computer that can process “truly vast amounts of data.” This is being used to power a “quantum leap” in autonomous driving performance. The improvements could help the firm reach the goal of offering full, point-to-point autonomous driving with no user intervention, a feature Musk claimed would come to every Tesla that has shipped since October 2016.

Looking to buy a Tesla Model 3? Electrek reported this week on a rumor that Tesla is set to update the cars coming out of the Fremont and Shanghai facilities. The updates will include a new steering wheel, chrome delete, a new center console, double-pane windows, new headlights, a powered trunk gate and more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to host its planned Battery Day on September 22. The company has announced plans to host its annual shareholder event on that day at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time. Straight after the event ends, Tesla will host its long-awaited Battery Day.

In other Musk news…

Tesla could one day launch a “super efficient” heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, Musk claimed last week. The CEO was responding to a Twitter post about Tesla’s “Bioweapon Defense Mode,” which composer John Mackey claimed offered far better air quality than that found next to his in-home air purifier. Mackey is based in San Francisco, where California wildfires have been wreaking havoc with air quality. Musk has mentioned the idea before. During the company’s first-quarter 2020 earnings call, Musk said he was “extremely excited” for such a system. Read more.

Bill Gates “has no clue,” Musk claimed this week. The Microsoft co-founder published a post last month focusing on zero-emissions transportation. Gates claimed battery technology “will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets.” Instead, Gates claims, alternative fuels like biofuels would play a role. Musk made the comments when asked on Twitter about Gates’ thoughts on trucks. Musk and Gates have previously clashed on A.I. and solar energy.

Musk Reads mailroom

Irene Long writes:

I’m hoping “battery day” will include a lower-cost, better-performing e-bicycle battery. What are the odds of that? I’ve been holding off buying an e-tricycle from sixthreezero until I see what battery day has to offer. Any inside knowledge?

Musk has hinted at plans for an electric bike. Back in 2018, during an interview with Recode, Musk said, “I think we might do an electric bike.” I’m not aware of rumors about an electric bike battery at Battery Day, though. As with most tech products, the best approach may be to buy the product you need when you need it.

Derck van Schuylenburch writes:

Will it be possible for a Tesla owner to download his/her own sounds, like you can do with cellphones to get customized ringtones?

It could be a good alternative to the current plan to play snake jazz or Polynesian elevator music!

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to

Photo of the week

Tesla Texas.

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The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #202, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

What did you think of today’s stories? Hit reply to this email to let us know. Thanks for reading!

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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