How to set up Tesla Text Messaging to send and receive messages

By Nuno Cristovao

Teslas have the ability to send and receive text messages. Any message you receive while connected to the car will display the sender's name on the screen. You can then have the car read the message to you or dismiss it.

Being able to receive text messages is as simple as pairing your phone and turning on a few settings. If you’d like to reply or send a text message, you can do it completely through your voice.

How to Set Up Text Messaging

How to set up text messaging in your Tesla
How to set up text messaging in your Tesla
Not a Tesla App
  • Tap the Bluetooth icon at the top of the screen to go to Bluetooth settings.
  • You’ll see a list of phones and devices paired to your car. You’ll want to pair your phone now if you haven’t done so already.
  • You’ll need to make sure the phone you’re setting up messaging for is already connected. Then tap the name of your device on the left side.
  • You’ll see options for that device on the right side. You will want to have the “Sync Messages,” option turned on. It may also want to turn on the “Chime on New Message” option if you’d like the car to have an audible alert every time you receive a new message. If you leave this option off, the car will still display a notification on the car’s screen, but without a chime.

How to Send a Text Message

The only way to send a text message through your Tesla is using your voice.

Your Tesla will read incoming text messages and allow you to respond
Your Tesla will read incoming text messages and allow you to respond
Not a Tesla App
  • On a Model S or Model X, tap the voice button on the top right side of the steering wheel.
  • On a Model 3 or Model Y, push in the right scroll wheel to start a voice command.
  • Then use the voice command, “Send text to Name”, Name being the person in your phone’s contacts that you’d like the message to be sent to. You’ll need to have your contacts synced to your car in order for this to function.
  • If you’d like to send or view text messages already sent during your trip. You can tap the Apps button (denoted by a ^) and choose Phone. From there tap the Messages tab and you'll see a list of all the contacts and messages you have sent and received during this trip. Messages already on your phone or sent in a previous drive will not show up here.

How to Receive a Text Message

Your Tesla will display and read incoming text messages
Your Tesla will display and read incoming text messages
Not a Tesla App

If your phone is connected via Bluetooth and you have the sync messages option turned on, you’ll now receive an alert every time you receive a text message.

You’ll hear a ding and the alert will appear on the screen along with the sender’s name. The message will be obscured until you choose it to be shown and read.

  • Model 3 or Model Y
    • To view a text message and have the car read the message to you, press the right scroll wheel.
    • To dismiss a message, you can press the right scroll wheel twice.
    • To dictate a reply, you press the right scroll wheel once, followed by your reply. Once you're done, you can press the right scroll wheel again to send the message.
  • Model S or Model X
    • On the instrument cluster you will see different options that you can select with the scroll wheel and the select button that will let you view, reply or dismiss the text message.


Car doesn't recognize a name

If the car has a hard time recognizing a name in your phonebook, there are a couple things you can do. You can duplicate the contact on your phone, giving the second contact a name that the car will recognize. Alternatively, you can favorite the contact. By favoriting a contact you'll be able to easily start a text message with them by going to Apps (the ^ icon ), Phone and then Favorites. Each favorite or contact has a Call icon next to their name along with a Message icon that you can use to start a new conversation.

Re-dictate a message

If you have a Model 3 or Model Y, and you reply to someone, only to have the car not understand what you said, you can dictate your message again by pressing the right scroll wheel in twice. On a Model S or Model X, you have a selectable option to let you re-try dictating the message.

Stop reading a message

If the car is reading a long text message and you'd like to stop it, you can press the right scroll wheel two times to dismiss the message.

Playback volume

Although it would be a great feature, there is currently no way to adjust the volume at which text messages are read.


If you’re not receiving text messaging in the car you will want to confirm that your phone is paired and connected. You’ll also want to confirm that the ‘Sync Messages’ option is turned on in the car's Bluetooth settings.

You'll also want to check your phone's Bluetooth settings to make sure the phone is sharing the relevant data with the car. You'll want to go to Bluetooth settings and find your device which you're connecting to, which is the car in this case. It should be labeled as Tesla followed by the model and the name of your car. Then you can tap on the ( i ) icon for iPhone's or the gear icon for Android and you should see device specific settings. You will want to be sure that the car is sharing contacts and notification or text message data with the car.

If you’re still having trouble, you may want to try rebooting your car. If it still doesn't work, you can try unpairing the phone and repairing it again. Delete the device from the car's Bluetooth settings and also delete the car from your phone's Bluetooth settings. You can then repair and enable text messaging again.

Keep in mind that sending group messages or replying to group messages is not currently supported on some devices, including iPhones.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

View All How Tos

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Tesla News

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.