Redesigned Tesla Model 3 will have new FSD and parking cameras but rely on GPS for outdoor temperature
Tesla's cost-saving Model 3 redesign dubbed Project Highland is slowly taking shape for mass production beginning in the third quarter of the year. After the spotting of its camouflaged prototypes, there is now insider info on what exactly will be changed in the 2024 Model 3 exterior, interior, and hardware.
First off, Tesla will allegedly be making the new Model 3 immediately recognizable by giving it new headlights hence new bumper shape. The front bumper design refresh will also be necessitated by the placement of a new FSD camera in the middle. It will be situated low just above the vent slits similar to the Cybertruck's front cam.
Tesla recently nixed the ultrasonic parking sensors (USS) from its vehicles promising to issue a software update which will let the camera-only Vision system to take their place in assisting the driver. That update recently went out to paying FSD customers who have signed for the Beta, but only for the Park Assist feature that USS used to help with.
Teardown analysts were worried that removing the USS kit from the bumpers and letting the current set of cameras on Tesla vehicles take over their duties will result in object detection challenges. The blind spots could miss a small animal running behind the car when parking in reverse, for instance, or low objects like curbs in front of newer Tesla vehicles without USS. That's precisely what Tesla may be trying to address with the new Model 3 front camera placement in the front bumper. The rear bumper will also receive new looks for a thorough design overhaul symmetry, though it is not clear if that will result in new functionalities, too.
Speaking of cameras, Tesla will bring the Hardware 4.0 FSD installation on the 2024 Model 3 to its full potential by equipping it with 3 additional cameras. Besides the aforementioned front bumper cam for parking and autonomous driving purposes, there will also be two extra side units. Each fender will have both a rear view and front view camera now, for earlier visibility without excess creeping at intersections.
As if to compensate for adding the extra HW4 components, Tesla will be nixing everything else its 2024 Model 3 can do without. After all, its main goal with Project Highland is to test-drive the manufacturing savings on the way to the Model 2 that Elon Musk said will halve the Model 3 production costs.
The new Model 3 interior, for instance, won't see radical changes, but Tesla is likely to make it stalkless and ventless like the Model S redesign before it. It will also do away with the more expensive wood trim and reportedly replace it with a fabric finish, as well as streamline the dashboard.
Tesla has been getting praises from entities as different as Toyota execs or teardown legend Sandy Munro for its thoughtful approach to cost-cutting. Its uncanny ability to shave off any unnecessary parts and components inside of its vehicles without sacrificing functionality have made Tesla the envy of the automotive industry with nearly US$10,000 net profit per vehicle.
With the 2024 Model 3 Tesla is likely to hit new cost-cutting heights and one great example will be the removal of the temperature sensor. Instead of relying on a dedicated sensor to measure ambient temperature around the new Model 3, Tesla will reportedly simply use the car's upgraded GPS chip and grab the info from the regional weather stations.
It remains to be seen if owners will find those weather reports more suitable than measuring the temperature in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle, yet Tesla will realize undisputed cost savings by omitting the temperature sensor from the 2024 Model 3.