Tesla's Latest Software Update 2023.26 Adds More Features to 'Service Mode'

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Not a Tesla App

On the heels of the previous updates Service Mode, Tesla is back with more features in update 2023.26.

Thanks to reader NinerByNature, we have a look at some new Service Mode health checks. The additions to service mode include tests for the steering wheel stalks, the low-voltage battery, airbags and other vehicle diagnostics.

Airbags Diagnostics

The new 'Airbags Screen' is the first upgrade. Here, users can check the status and availability of all vehicle airbags. This includes Tesla's newer far-side airbag, which helps prevent front passengers from colliding against each other. The diagnostic screen will display the location of each airbag and state whether it's operational or if there are known faults.

Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Not a Tesla App

Steering Wheel and Stalks Checks

The new 'Steering Wheel and Stalks' service is particularly useful for troubleshooting. With it you can verify the functionality of various key components like stalks, scroll wheels, steering wheel, parking brake, and horn, ensuring smooth operations and minimizing the chance of unexpected issues on the road.

Low-Voltage Battery

The low-voltage battery reading feature offers detailed data, including voltage, charge level, and current. These details let you check on the health of your low-voltage battery and potentially replace it preemptively before it becomes an issue. Most of the vehicle's electronics are run off of the low voltage battery, and a non-working battery could leave you stranded.

Camera Pitch Verification

Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Tesla has added more health checks to its Service Mode
Not a Tesla App

Last but not least, this update appears to allow you to verify the pitch of each of the vehicle's cameras. This is presumably used to verify whether the camera pitch needs to be adjusted, either physically or through Tesla's automated camera calibration feature.

Earlier today we reported on some 2023 vehicle models being recalled due to the front cameras being misaligned, and this feature likely helps diagnose those issues. The cameras play a critical role in the vehicle's functions, so it's paramount that they're aimed and functioning properly.

Building on Previous Service Mode Improvements

These updates build on the momentum set by the previously released service mode updates. Looking back at our June report, we noted Tesla's significant strides in refining its Service Mode. The update introduced diagnostic screens for seat belts, the HVAC system, and a unique feature for calibrating auto-appearing door handles on the Model S. The seat belt service menu provided a detailed visual of the safety equipment's interaction with the restraint control module (RCM), creating an additional safety-check tool for owners.

The HVAC system visualization offered an immersive understanding of the vehicle's climate control. Additionally, door handle calibration, specific to the Model S, allowed individual calibrations for these handles. Even though Service Mode was designed primarily for technicians, the detailed insights provided were a boon for owners who sought to troubleshoot and calibrate their vehicles effectively, provided they understood the implications of their adjustments. These features marked another incremental step in improving Tesla's Service Mode, setting the stage for the even more impressive updates in their latest release.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

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