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.

Tips

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.

Troubleshooting

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.

Cybertruck to be waterproof and serve as a boat briefly, may also appear in Cyberpunk 2077

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

Cybertruck deliveries will start next year, but if you can't wait that long, you may want to head for Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 has teased that the highly anticipated vehicle in the real world may appear in the popular video game. But, if that's not enough, Elon Musk announced another exciting and unique feature for the futuristic-looking truck - it will be waterproof.

Let's start with the floating Cybertruck, which should not be a shock to anyone following the Tesla CEO. He bought the Lotus Esprit that James Bond used to jump off a pier and transform into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the movie prop for just under $1 million in 2013 and told USA Today, "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

In 2016 he tweeted that the Model S "floats well enough to be a boat," but he did not recommend trying it. Now he has claimed the Cybertruck could be used as a boat — briefly. Musk tweeted: Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren't too choppy.

Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

In a later tweet, he gave some idea of the distance he has in mind: Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.

Twitter user @Erdayastronaut shed some light on why Musk would be singling out that area and distance. The tweet reads: "One of SpaceX's biggest problems is attracting talent to work at Starbase, which is extremely remote. South Padre is an awesome place to live, but it's almost an hour drive to Starbase despite being only 5 miles from Starbase because of the shipping channel." A quick check of Google Maps demonstrates what the user is describing.

South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
Google

Musk's tweet also caught the attention of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Officials there seem to be a little concerned about the wording. The official account tweeted: Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that "serves briefly as a boat" should not be used as a boat.

CD Projekt RED also noticed Musk's tweet, and the makers of Cyberpunk used the opportunity to show two concepts of the Cybertruck as it would appear in Night City. Musk and Cyberpunk have had an ongoing relationship for a few years. Most recently, he demonstrated the power of the onboard computer's gaming system by playing Cyberpunk in a Tesla. However, CD Projekt RED did not mention if the Cybertruck in Cyberpunk would float.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable in the new Model S

Tesla hints at 'Reverse Summon' being available this year

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website'
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website
Tesla

Tesla's team of Autopilot engineers is validating significant advancements to Full Self Driving Beta, including parking lot improvements. While Smart Summon and Reverse Summon were not specifically mentioned during the 3.5-hour AI Day 2022 event, parking lots were discussed, and Elon Musk gave a timeline of when enhancements are expected.

Reverse Summon or 'Park Seek' as Tesla appears to be calling it, is the opposite of Smart Summon. Whereas Smart Summon drives to you from a parking spot, users who activate Reverse Summon would have their Tesla drop them off at a location, perhaps closest to the entrance of a mall, and then find a parking spot. This feature was described by Musk on July 1, 2020, when he gave it a two to a four-month timeline.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s director of the Autopilot program, started the FSD portion of AI Day, saying, “FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on.”

Several team members described how FSD has advanced and soon will be an integrated stack, meaning one code base that includes everything the program needs to navigate the car in a parking lot or on a busy highway. Musk is currently using this new stack, “it works quite well for me, but we need to validate it in all kinds of weather, like heavy rain, snow, dust and make sure it is working better than the production stack across a wide range of environments.”

Paril Jain, the Manager of Autopilot Motion Planning, expanded on what else will be included in the integrated stack, “we do expect to also include the parking lot stack as a part of the FSD stack before the end of this year. So, that will basically bring us to you sitting in the car in the parking lot and drive till the end of the parking lot, at a parking spot, before the end of this year.”

It has been previously reported that Reverse Summon would have three different modes to find parking spots that the owner prefers. The methods would include closest to the entrance, nearby a cart return, and the end of the parking lot for those who like to avoid tight spots that cause door dings. Musk said that the integrated stack is on track for release before the end of the year and maybe as early as November.

Tesla has also updated it's website to reflect this news, although no timeframe is given. The Autopilot section of Tesla's site now has a section titled "To your Destination." The description reads "When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you."

View All How Tos

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

Tesla News

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

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 2022.36.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.