Science

Tesla is releasing a big update for Christmas 🆕

Update 12/24/2021: Elon Musk has kept his word for once! The Christmas update has been circulating since early this morning and, according to testimony, everyone is entitled to it, including me.

Once installation is done, a largely reworked interface is available, with a bar at the bottom that turns black again and contains colored icons. An aesthetic and also practical choice: they are much easier to detect, which is important when driving. Most importantly, however, you can change the icons displayed at the bottom of the screen. There are several options available, including direct access to music sources.

The new interface, here with the screen dedicated to the meters.


Icon options that can be freely positioned and arranged on the bottom bar.

Otherwise, the announced functions are all there, including the sound and light show that I have not tried: I want to keep the peace with my neighbors on Christmas Day 😬. The camera display with the turn signals promises to be as useful as promised and the rearrangement of stages on long drives is a welcome addition.

Side camera display when activating a turn signal, a well-found way to clear your blind spot.


Reorganization of the stages of a long journey.

However, the interface remains static and, unlike the Model S and Model X, it is remarkably impossible to adjust the size of the map. We don’t know if that will come later or if Tesla will keep two slightly different interfaces.

Little surprise: the Tesla app camera display is also available in Europe! To benefit from it, you have to update the car and the application, but also pay the premium connection at € 10 per month.

Remote access to car cameras.

Until then, this novelty had only appeared in the United States:

Tesla will allow remote access to the cameras of their cars 🆕

Tesla will allow remote access to the cameras of their cars 🆕

Original article

It has become a tradition at Tesla: the last annual update of its cars is a large version that brings significant changes. The 2021 “Christmas Update” was confirmed by Elon Musk earlier this month and has started rolling out to some American drivers. Which confirms its scale, in particular with the return of a single interface for all Tesla cars.

The new interface is taken from the new Model S and Model X, but on a Model 3.


The new interface dedicated to vehicle controls, again borrowed from the Model S and Model X.

Since the launch of the new Model S and Model X, Tesla has managed two different interfaces. The Model 3 and Model Y stayed with the classic interface, rather monolithic with a section dedicated to the car and its surroundings on the left and the maps and the planner on the right. You can see how it looks today in this article:

Six months in a Tesla: on board, resolutely geeky minimalism

Six months in a Tesla: on board, resolutely geeky minimalism

The new interface takes the same concept, but with panels that can be resized and above all the possibility of changing the icons at the bottom of the screen. With this update, we will be able to choose the most useful elements and place them further to the left, where it will be easy for the driver to access, and relegate the less useful elements to the right. Tesla has also reduced the number of checks that are permanently displayed, which should allow more space for a reduced number of icons and thus reduce errors while driving.

The “Light Show” mode transforms a Tesla into a light and sound show that the neighbors will appreciate …

But an update wouldn’t be festive without some new features to try. The Tesla game box, which contains some devices, is enriched with a “light show” mode that transforms one or more Tesla into a sound and light show. Several new games have also been added, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Sudoku. The game Battle of Polytopia was already integrated, but the update adds multiplayer support to it. And if you don’t want to play, you can still wait while it loads while watching TikTok videos as an app was added with this version.

Perhaps more useful, a new feature will automatically activate one of the two side cameras when you activate the corresponding indicator. It is an idea that Tesla has borrowed from the competition, we have seen it in particular in the new electric cars of the Hyundai group, and it is practical for clearing the blind spot while driving. It should also be very helpful in ensuring nothing is written – a useful measure for a car of American standards.

Description of one of the new functions: automatic display of the side cameras on the screen when the flashing light is activated.

Other new features are still planned, such as the automated management of heated seats, the possibility of changing stages during a journey or even access to videos recorded by the Dashcam function, which is activated automatically during an incident. Or with the horn. So many little novelties that are common at Tesla: cars evolve regularly over several years.

Constant updates will also be the subject of one of the future articles in my current series on Tesla:

Six months in a Tesla: our new series for Club iGen

Six months in a Tesla: our new series for Club iGen

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