Tesla Update 2023.12.1: An In-depth Look at Its Features [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla update 2023.12.1 adds several exciting features
Tesla update 2023.12.1 adds several exciting features
Not a Tesla App

Tesla's 2023.12.1 software update brings various new features and enhancements to its vehicles. One of the most significant updates is the steering wheel customization, specifically for Model 3 and Model Y. The video below shows how easy it is to use and navigate multiple menus.

The left scroll button now has multiple uses, enabling drivers to adjust settings such as brightness and Acceleration Mode and perform actions like toggling the Camera App, opening the glovebox, and saving Dashcam footage. To access these options, long press the left scroll button to display a list of functions and scroll through the list. To choose the default function, go to Controls > Display > Scroll Wheel Function.

Steering Wheel Customization is currently only available for the Model 3 and Model Y, but that may be changing soon. The Tesla release notes reveal an icon with an upward arrow on the car, suggesting possible future suspension adjustments from the scroll wheel menu — a feature currently exclusive to Model S/X.

New Search Function

The new search function, located under the menu, displays options as you type and offers suggestions for easier access to controls and settings. This should make it easier to adjust specific options, especially if you're unsure which menu they're under.

Points of Interest with Photos and Reviews

When selecting a point of interest or Supercharger location, the updated software now includes photos and reviews to provide users with more information. For example, you can tap on a restaurant and immediately receive information about the menu, pictures and reviews.

Undocumented Wiper Adjustment Feature

You can finally adjust the wiper speed using the steering wheel scroll wheel
You can finally adjust the wiper speed using the steering wheel scroll wheel
LexBarker (edited by Not a Tesla App)

The ability to adjust wipers using the steering wheel has been discovered as an undocumented feature in the 2023.12.1 release notes. You

You can now adjust the windshield wiper speed by using the scroll wheel on the steering wheel. First, press the button at the end of the left stalk to activate the windshield wipers and have the controls appear on the screen.

You can then tilt the left scroll wheel left/right to cycle through the various speeds of the windshield wipers.

There are various enhancements and changes to the UI in this update that Tesla didn't mention in their release notes. For a full list of all those changes, be sure to check our the release notes for update 2023.12.1, where we list all the official release notes along with undocumented changes.

Optional Gear Chimes for Model 3/Y

Gear chimes have been added as an optional feature for Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Similar to the same noise users hear when activating and deactivating Autopilot, a chime will provide an audible alert when the car is put in drive, park and reverse. This update is expected to extend to Model S/X and is available worldwide.

Spotify Web-based Player and Phone Call Controls

According to @GreenTheOnly, Tesla's Spotify player has transitioned to be a web-based player, similar to Apple Music. It appears that Tesla will be transitioning all music services to leverage their web-based player, allowing quicker development.

In the new Model S/X and Model 3/Y, you'll now also be able to control phone calls from the steering wheel. The left scroll button can be used to answer or decline incoming calls, mute/unmute during a call, or hang up.

Speed Assist

Speed Assist now leverages the car's cameras to detect speed limit signs, improving the accuracy of speed limit data on local roads and highways in select countries. Detected speed limit signs will be displayed in the driving visualization. The vision-based speed assist feature now includes support for several additional countries, such as Australia, Sweden, Portugal, and Luxembourg.

Expanded Zoom Availability in Multiple Countries

Tesla has extended Zoom availability to more countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and others. If you have a Zoom meeting in your Calendar, tap the link to start or join your meeting automatically. Participant video and screen sharing are only visible while parked and will switch to audio-only if you drive. It is the driver's sole responsibility to consult and comply with all local regulations while using Zoom. To access Zoom, tap Application Launcher > Zoom.

Tesla Update 2023.12.1 in Action

Legacy S/X Writing Support in China

Writing support has been added to legacy Model S and Model X vehicles in China, expanding the functionality for these owners.

Text Size Customization

Perhaps one of the biggest changes is that you can now choose between Standard or Large text sizes for the touchscreen display in the Model 3 and Model Y. Navigate to Controls > Display > Text Size to adjust your preference. With these exciting new features and improvements, Tesla's 2023.12.1 software update enhances the overall driving experience for its users.

This comprehensive overview of Tesla's 2023.12.1 software update showcases the automaker's commitment to continuously improving its vehicles' features and driving experience for its users. With each update, Tesla further cements its position as a leader in the electric vehicle market.

Why You May Still be on Tesla Update 2024.8.9 or 2024.3.25 and What to Expect

By Karan Singh

Tesla’s latest set of updates has been fast-moving, with lots of bug fixes, and this fits with Musk’s philosophy of moving fast and breaking things. Some people are still on 2024.8.9, some are still on 2024.3.25, and some people are already on the 2024.14.8 Spring Update, and there’s also the brand-new 2024.20 update that just went out to employees for testing.

Let’s take a look at how Tesla’s software distribution system works, and why you are where you are.

Statistics

Before diving deep into how it all works, let’s get some statistics out of the way. We’ll be using the statistics we use here on the site, which are powered by TeslaFi.

The vehicles on each update
The vehicles on each update

As we can see, the tracked fleet is about 30% 2024.14 – the spring update; 2024.8 – Tesla’s previous major update, which contains FSD V11; and 2024.3 – the FSD V12.3 update. The remaining fleet on 2023.44 or other updates is fairly negligible, at around 10%.

So, about 65% of the tracked fleet has access to FSD V12, depending on their country of origin. The remaining 25% of the fleet only has access to FSD V11 if they’re in an eligible region.

FSD Update Track

When someone subscribes or purchases FSD, Tesla enables the FSD feature on that vehicle’s firmware, which currently could be either FSD v11 or FSD v12.

Once you’ve subscribed to FSD, you’re generally on the ‘FSD Track,’ which means you’ll start receiving the latest FSD updates, but will generally receive Tesla features later than Tesla’s primary, non-FSD branch. Tesla’s FSD track has historically always been behind the main branch, and it has been that way since FSD Beta first went out to customers years ago.

Vehicle Eligibility

Not all vehicles are eligible for all updates, and this is a twofold reason. First, if you’re on an update that is on a newer branch, say 2024.8.9, you cannot go down to 2024.3.5. The version number is broken down to year, week number and revision. So update 2024.8.9 is the 9th revision of the update that was created on the 8th week of 2024.

In general, Tesla does not roll back versions, so if someone is already on update 2024.14, then their vehicle wouldn’t be eligible for FSD 12.4, which is update 2024.9.5. This is mainly due to potential issues since Tesla doesn’t thoroughly test rolling back software.

Your vehicle will always be eligible for updates on a later branch, even if you won’t necessarily receive that update – like the many owners on update 2024.8 or 2024.3 who haven’t received update 2024.14 yet.

The second factor is hardware. Vehicles on older hardware variants, or vehicles that are considered to be legacy, are just not eligible for some updates. This is something that Tesla decides as newer hardware is needed for newer features and support for legacy hardware may not be included in all updates.

If you’ve subscribed to FSD and you’re on update 2024.8.9 and wondering why you’re not receiving update 2024.14, that’s why. Tesla wants your vehicle to be eligible for the next FSD v12.4 update, which will be update 2024.9.5.

Vehicle Variants

Sometimes, updates are not sent out widely for the simple reason of hardware variants. Tesla’s fleet has become widely fractured over the years, with many different variants of vehicles on the road today. Some 2022 Model Y’s may have Matrix headlights, while some may not, and some may have USS, while others don’t. Most have HW3, but a few have HW4!

That’s 6 possible branching variants in one year – a total of 24 possible variants for just the 2022 Model Y, not including the Performance, Long-Range, Rear-Wheel Drive, 4680-cell Rear-Wheel Drive, and the odd 2022 Standard-Range Dual-Motor variants that are also all different! If you did the math, there are 362 thousand possible variants, but not likely more than ~40 or so actual builds that Tesla differentiates between for software for all vehicles.

Of course, Tesla has managed to pare down these variants through the 2023 and 2024 model years, with greatly simplified production chains, with the removal of USS in favor of Tesla Vision, the full move to Hardware 4 across all factories, and Matrix headlights becoming standard globally. But all those existing vehicles are not legacy, and still need updates.

That means a complex and well-thought-out update process has to be built in order to deploy a functional update to all these vehicle variants.

Bug Fixing

Besides the complexity of vehicle variants, Tesla also has to catch and fix bugs. No matter how good one is at software development, sometimes bugs just escape into the wild. And fixing those bugs is essential since they could leave a vehicle undriveable. Although a major issue is rare, Tesla has had some issues in the past, such as Automatic Emergency Braking being disabled due to a software issue. This is why Tesla rolls out updates gradually.

We’ve seen this play out with update 2024.14, which has received numerous bug-fix releases. Tesla will release an update to a set of cars, discover an issue, and stop the rollout. A few days later, another update is out with additional fixes, and so on.

Conclusion

So, if you’re stuck on update 2024.8.9 or 2024.3.25, and are wondering when you’ll get FSD V12 or the Spring Update, you’ll have to hang on – the author is also on 2024.8.9 with V11!

Elon Musk mentioned on X that FSD V12.4 should be the update the reduces FSD branching and will bring everyone to FSD V12 in general. 2024.9.5 is the FSD V12.4 update, and it looks like vehicles that are below that branch number should be collectively receiving the reduced-nag V12.4 update.

When we finally receive FSD V12.4, we’ll likely need to hang on for a little longer until FSD V12.4.1 or FSD V12.5 rolls along to have the Spring Update.

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.

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

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