A Look at Tesla's New Media Player, Nav, Fan and HomeLink Updates

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has added a mini player to the Model 3 and Model Y
Tesla has added a mini player to the Model 3 and Model Y
Teslamaniacs

Tesla's holiday update, which is update 2022.44.25.1, is jammed full of goodies, many of which require a second look. There are significant changes for Model 3 and Model Y owners. In addition, some features drivers use to operate daily, have changed location, size, and functionality.

Music Player

This one may take some getting used to. There is now a new mini-player that splits the music area into two sections. A smaller module for media controls is on the bottom left of the screen. This allows the most used buttons to be closer to the driver.

Users can swipe up on the mini media player to reveal sources, including Apple Music, Spotify, Bluetooth etc. Once a source is selected, the details open up on the right-hand side of the screen for users to select songs or playlists.

The mini media player also allows users to scroll to recent and favorites, settings, and a search function can also be found in this small, reconfigured player. The mini-player will automatically collapse after a few seconds if left expanded.

In addition, Tesla has reintroduced cards that can be found by swiping on the media player in the lower left corner. Cards allow you to view your odometer, trip meter and tire pressure. You can see the new UI cards in action which we took an in-depth look at earlier this week.

Media Player in the Center

Unfortunately, the media player can not be placed back in its previous location. At least, not most of the time. If you're confused, you're not the only one. Here's a breakdown of what's possible. If the music panel is expanded to reveal your song selection, the media controls can be placed on top of that panel, but only when the mini player is hidden.

If the mini player is visible, then the song selection panel on the right will only display your songs/playlists, which does create some additional vertical room to display songs and or album art. However, there is no way to have just the media controls on the right side in a minimal sort of fashion as you could before.

Your choices for media controls are now one of three on the Model 3 and Model Y. You can have the mini player on the left side, which is essentially the new default. You can have the media controls on the right side, but only when the music selection panel is fully expanded (covering the map) and the mini player is hidden, or you can have the media controls hidden completely. If your music controls are hidden, a gray music icon appears in your launcher to bring them back up again.

This can all be a little confusing, and it'd be nice to see Tesla introduce a simple toggle to have the media controls on the left or right.

If you're viewing your tire pressure or odometer in the new UI cards, the media player will also jump back to the center area.

Navigation UI

Tesla has improved the layout of the navigation information
Tesla has improved the layout of the navigation information
Teslamaniacs

Tesla has redesigned the navigation user interface (UI) layout, which improves the placement of directions, such as the next turn and other available options. Tesla has split the nav UI into two pieces. At the top of the screen will be critical information about the route, including next-turn directions.

The rest of the information, previously found at the top of the screen, is moved to the bottom. These details include travel time, destination details, and options to alter or cancel your navigation.

Both of these modules can be expanded to show more information. For example, swiping down on the top module will reveal additional turns along your route, while swiping up on the bottom module, or tapping the three dots will bring up additional route options such as adding a stop or editing your navigation preferences.

Your current location/town has also been shifted slightly. It used to be placed at the bottom center of the screen, but it's now been shifted slightly and is at the far corner of the display.

Fan Controls

You can now tap to change the fan speed and remain in Auto
You can now tap to change the fan speed and remain in Auto
Teslamaniacs

When your climate system is set to Auto, Tesla now uses a 'LO', 'MED', and 'HI' fan speed, instead of the previous 1-10 scale. The slider is now gone and replaced with buttons to decrease or increase the fan speed.

Tesla will no longer automatically turn off the Auto climate when you adjust the fan intensity. Even when the fan speed is modified, the HVAC system will remain in Auto.

Manual Mode

You can still use fan speeds 1-10 in manual mode
You can still use fan speeds 1-10 in manual mode
Walgermo/Twitter

If you turn off Auto on your climate system, you'll still have granular access to the fan speed controls with the old 1-10 scale. You now also have the option to tap or use a slider to adjust the fan speed. A new slider will appear above the climate section, or you can tap the arrows to adjust the fan speed just like you do in Auto.

HomeLink

Tesla has made improvements to the HomeLink UI
Tesla has made improvements to the HomeLink UI
Walgermo/Twitter

Tesla has made improvements to HomeLink as well. When near your home location, the HomeLink icon will now display in the status bar at the top of the screen with an 'Activate' or 'Cancel' button.

The HomeLink dropdown will automatically disappear if you shift into reverse, but the option to activate your garage door will remain.

Furthermore, if you have auto-open or auto-close enabled, the status bar will now display the number of feet or meters before the garage door is opened or closed.

Video of UI Updates

There are many more additions and changes in the latest update, but these will impact the user the most. Tesla owners usually love to drive and are accustomed to seeing information displayed the same way in the exact location on the screen. So be sure to give yourself a little extra time to familiarize yourself with the new layout.

Impact Report: Tesla Vehicles 8x Less Likely to Catch Fire, Batteries Degrade 15% After 200k Miles

By Karan Singh

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by producing products far superior to fossil fuel alternatives and sourcing and manufacturing them sustainably. Tesla released its 2023 Impact Report yesterday, discussing their ongoing impact on the environment and the improvements seen.

Displacing Fossil Fuels

In 2023 alone, Tesla’s impact on the environment through its vehicles, Powerwall, and Solar Roof has been massively impactful – Tesla customers avoided releasing the equivalent of 20 million metric tons of CO2e into the environment. That is the equivalent of 51 billion miles of driving an average internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Each Tesla vehicle that is on the road avoids an average of 51 tons of CO2e emission into the environment. After just 3 years of driving, a Tesla’s lifetime emissions are lower than those of a comparable ICE vehicle. After the average lifespan of a vehicle in North America – 17 years – a single Tesla will have exceeded that value 5.5 times over.

Integrated Ecosystems

Tesla offers comprehensive ecosystems of products to address clean energy and transportation needs, from Megapack, Solar Roof, and Powerwall, to the Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck.

Tesla Solar produces power for storage in Megapacks or Powerwalls, which charge electric vehicles. Tesla also produces some of their own batteries, for both its storage applications and vehicles, enabling a complete cycle.

On the software side, products like Autobidder, Full Self-Driving, and the upcoming Robotaxi work to maximize the productivity of electricity that is stored in vehicles, helping to further displace fossil fuels in a single ecosystem of well-designed products.

Tesla's ecosystem depicted.
Tesla's ecosystem depicted.

World’s Best EVs

Tesla’s Model Y is still the best-selling vehicle in 2023, a trend likely to continue in 2024. And it’s not for little reason. It is the world’s most efficient EV, capable of running Autopilot/FSD, and is considered one of the best safety picks in both North America and Europe. Tesla’s data has also proven that they are, on average, 7.63 times safer than a traditional vehicle when running Autopilot.

Additionally, the Model Y is priced $3,000 USD below the average new vehicle in the US before the Federal EV Tax Credit – a difference of $17,000 after factoring in the credit and gas savings over 5 years.

Battery Degradation

Model 3/Y battery degradation over time
Model 3/Y battery degradation over time

Battery degradation is often brought up as a concern for EVs and the environment. Batteries fade away, become useless, and cannot be recycled. According to Tesla’s data and experience, this is far from the truth.

In fact, Tesla has found that their batteries degrade about 15% after 200,000 miles – the equivalent of the average lifetime of a vehicle. And in fact, they do even better in the cold than they do in the heat, with better degradation performance in Canada over the US.

Another interesting fact is that Tesla vehicles in particular – are 8 times less likely to be victim to a vehicle fire, compared against the US average.

Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainably sourcing materials is essential to reach Tesla’s vision of a world with reduced environmental impacts. In 2023, Tesla recovered enough battery materials to produce 43,000 Model Y RWD vehicles, while also sourcing Gigafactory Berlin with 100% renewable energy.

Overall, Tesla solar owners generated enough energy to power all Tesla locations, including all the Mega and Giga Factories, and all other facilities – over 3 times.

Tesla has also reduced water use by 25% over the last 5 years for vehicle production, marking a new milestone low – at 2.48 cubic meters of water, versus 3.37 cubic meters of water for an average ICE vehicle.

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Megafactory in Shanghai

By Karan Singh

Tesla broke ground on a new Megafactory in Shanghai’s Lingang free trade zone pilot program. This factory will be Tesla’s first foray into battery production outside of the United States, mirroring its direction in Lathrop, California.

Batteries, Not Cars

Megafactory Shanghai won’t be producing cars but rather will be producing Megapacks, which are grid-scale battery solutions that can power entire electricity grids.

Each massive Megapack battery unit, about the size of a shipping container, can deliver about 1.2 megawatts of power capacity, with 3.9 megawatt-hours of electricity. A single Megapack unit can power approximately 3,600 homes for an hour.

The Megafactory is scheduled to begin production in early 2025, with production goals of 10,000 Megapack units per year.

Sustainable Energy and Megapack

One of Tesla's Megapacks
One of Tesla's Megapacks

Tesla’s mission is more than just producing self-driving cars – it’s to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As part of this mission, Megapack and grid-scale energy solutions are key to offset energy costs and carbon emissions when wind, solar, or hydro are at reduced capacities.

Megapack helps to maximize renewable energy use, minimize carbon use, and allow base-load capacities like nuclear power to maintain their output. Similar energy-storage solutions like pumped storage hydropower are expensive, require specific terrain features, and can take years to construct. Megapack units ship assembled, allowing for rapid installation with minimal complexity.

Lathrop vs Shanghai

Tesla’s fairly new facility in Lathrop, California is a mirror of the new facility being built in Shanghai. However, just like the differences between Fremont, Giga Texas, and Giga Shanghai, Mega Shanghai will likely incorporate new technologies to improve productivity. Additionally, it serves as a way to serve the energy market in the Indo-Pacific region, which has been at the forefront of energy development in the last decade.

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