Tesla’s longtime head of user interface (UI) design, Pawel Pietryka, has left the company. Interestingly enough, he published some images of previously unreleased UI design for the Cybertruck and Full Self-Driving (FSD) software in the process. We had seen these images partially during the Cybertruck launch, but never so clearly.
Pietryka was an art director at Apple before joining Tesla back in 2016. He quickly became Tesla’s head of user interface design. This is a very important role at Tesla since the in-car experience revolves around the large touchscreen. This is an integral part of the user interface. According to his LinkedIn profile, Pietryka left Tesla last month. He has created his own design firm called Moderne Grafik Anstalt.
Tesla appointed Ben Cunningham as head of UI design at Tesla. Cunningham had come to Tesla last year from Facebook.
Sharing the Unseen Images
As part of Pietryka’s portfolio on his new firm’s website, the designer shared some images of his designs at Tesla. Tesla had already released most of these designs in vehicles and other products, like its mobile app. However, there were also some new images of UI designs that were new.
The prototype of Cybertruck unveiled in 2019 did feature a basic user interface. But we now have a good idea of what it could be like through this new video. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it will be the final UI in the production version of the Cybertruck. Still, it’s a closer look than we’ve got so far.
Quick video showing driving visualization of Full Self-Driving:
Elon Musk comments on Next FSD Update – “It Will Blow Your Mind”
Elon Musk has said that the next Full Self-Driving update will arrive in a couple of weeks. He had previously mentioned that this update will rely purely on computer vision. Currently, the beta program, which Tesla has rolled out for around 2,000 people, works on both radar and vision.
Now, Musk has also mentioned that this update will blow people away.
Gating factor is achieving & proving higher safety with pure vision than with vision+radar. We are almost there.
FSD Beta V9.0 will blow your mind.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2021
Of course, this won’t be a wider release to the general public. Tesla is still in the limited beta program with respect to FSD. Only the current users of this program will have access to this new update.
This also means that the FSD still remains a driver-assist system on paper. Even if the car can practically drive itself around, it still requires the driver to pay attention to the road. The driver must be ready to take over at all times. This means that any accident that takes place can also be blamed, to some extent, on the driver. Only when Tesla takes full responsibility for anything and everything that happens will the Full Self-Driving be classified as completely autonomous.
Tesla is expected to release a new version of its Full Self-Driving Beta software to its wider fleet later this quarter, and it should have new driving visualization that should look more like the images released by Pietryka than what is seen in the current beta.
The “gating factor” that Musk mentions in the tweet refers to an element that is limiting something from happening. In this case, he wants to say that a vision-only system is safer than Tesla’s current use of vision and radar. And now, he’s saying that the update is just a couple of weeks away. Of course, the update has been pushed the last few times. But normally, when Tesla or Musk gives such a short timeline, they normally meet it.
So, it remains to be seen what Tesla comes up with in this v9 of the Full Self-Driving suite. And we’ll also have to wait and watch if Pietryka has released anything confidential.