New Tesla update on the way: this is what the brand...

New Tesla update on the way: this is what the brand...
New Tesla update on the way: this is what the brand...

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week that the upcoming software update will cause fireworks. After all, the American manufacturer of electric cars usually makes improvements to its models via so-called ‘over-the-air’ updates. To see what this will have in practice, we list some updates of the Tesla Model 3 in the Netherlands.

Tesla is not just about updating the map or fixing a previously made bug. If the brand makes an update, it could actually mean that cars can suddenly do things they could not before. It goes too far to cover all updates; there are too many for that. Moreover, not all updates are equally interesting. That is why we only mention the remarkable things that have been implemented since the beginning of 2019, when the Tesla Model 3 came on the market here.

However, that already starts in the first quarter of last year, when Sentry Mode was added, among other things. This function, called Guard Mode in English, means that the car can use its surrounding cameras as a security camera.

Dog Mode was also introduced at that time. This is a function that not only keeps the climate control running after the car is exited, but also prevents passers-by from trying to free a dog left in the car. On the central screen, the indoor temperature is displayed in an unmissable font, along with the text ‘Don’t worry, my owner will be back soon’.

Netflix in the car

Games, among other things, were added in the second quarter. Perhaps more useful is the Automatic High Beam function, or high beam that switches off automatically when an oncoming vehicle looms up.

Bigger news comes in the form of the (fast) charging speed, which for the Long Range increases from 150 to 200 kW. Anyone who hits a Tesla V3 charger themselves can even charge up to 250 kW since June 2019. To ensure that the cars actually reach this speed, the battery is now automatically heated when navigating to a Supercharger. The famous Beach Buggy Racing 2, a racing game that allows the user with his or her specific Tesla over a Mario Kart-like track, also dates from this period.

In the third quarter of 2019, more pastime appeared in the form of Netflix and YouTube apps, which of course, like the game, can only be used when stationary. A karaoke function – dubbed by Tesla Car-aoke – conjures up the lyrics of a wide variety of music life-size on your screen, so your passengers can sing along along the way.

Camp Mode ensures that the car stays awake and the climate control continues to work for a longer period of time when the car is in P, so that you can sleep in the car if necessary. That is less nonsensical than it seems, because videos on YouTube prove that there are actually people who try that. Finally, there is a novelty in the ‘small, but useful’ category: the dashcam now automatically saves images when the horn is used.

In the last quarter of 2019, the various Model 3 versions just got 5 percent more power. During this period, a better integration of your digital calendar with the Model 3 also followed, so that the car can automatically navigate to work or another appointment if necessary.

Additional camera image when reversing

The biggest news in the first quarter of 2020 was without a doubt the addition of fast chargers from parties other than Tesla on the central navigation screen. This is not immediately the case worldwide, but it is in Belgium and the Netherlands, among others.

The auto-visualization on the left of the screen – on which you can see yourself driving – from now on, traffic lights and stop signs are visible. That seems unimportant, but for those who have ticked the option Full-Self Driving (FDS, or fully self-driving steering in Dutch), this is the first step towards a car that actually stops for the aforementioned things.

The reversing camera on the back of the car was joined by cameras directly behind the front wheels in the second quarter of this year. Those ‘look’ to the rear, which should make it a lot easier to prevent the rim from hitting the curb. The interior-facing camera can now be activated. Whoever does this ensures that the car automatically sends a clip to Tesla in the event of an accident.

PIN code for glove compartment

Where the maximum speed displayed until now was purely based on navigation maps, the Model 3 can now also ‘read’ signs itself and determine a maximum speed on that basis. The adaptive cruise control still switches on at that predicted maximum speed. If you want, you can now command the car to assume the current speed with a tap on the speedometer.

Since the fourth quarter this addition has been improved again and it is possible to indicate in the menu that the car should always adopt the current speed for cruise control and Autopilot. Cars with FSD have been able to stop automatically in front of stop signs and traffic lights since the third quarter.

The most recent update rounds for the Tesla Model 3 brought not only the mentioned cruise control update, but also the ability to secure the glove compartment with a PIN code that can be opened via the screen. In addition, the built-in Spotify app will be improved, so that a larger part of the user’s music can now actually be found. Podcasts are now also included.

In more than a year and a half, Tesla’s smallest model has become faster, the loading speed has increased, the driver aids have been considerably improved and the cars have all been given a series of fun gimmicks as a gift. What will be added to this in the future is not clear. Tesla rarely or never makes a concrete statement about what else can be expected in the field of updates. Hints, on the other hand, are clearly a different story for Twitter king Musk.

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