Tesla's Model 3 Highland: Latest Rumors and Speculation

By Kevin Armstrong
A rendering of the Model 3 Highland (right) based on leaks
A rendering of the Model 3 Highland (right) based on leaks

All eyes on Tesla have been focused on the bright, shiny, stainless steel object, the Cybertruck. Still, the company is nearing the release of another industry-shaking move, the Model 3 refresh - Highland. As the anticipation builds, we have collated the most recent updates from various trusted sources to bring you the latest on what could be a game-changer for the electric vehicle market.


A tweet from Tesla China Analyst, @teslashanghai, praises the Highland project, noting that the new Model 3's design looks "very attractive," even more so than the Model S. The refreshed version boasts sleek new headlights that have caught the eye of enthusiasts. In another tweet, Chris Zheng quoted a Tesla Chinese employee who confirmed that the actual car looked "very close, with almost no difference" to the expected design.


The Highland project has moved beyond the trial production phase, with production ramp-up and stress testing slated to begin on August 25th. By early September, Tesla aims to reach a daily production capacity of approximately 1,200 units, as shared by @teslashanghai.


Contrary to some expectations, a new rumor says Highland will feature HW 3.5, not 4.0, which seems counterintuitive. Tesla now delivers the new Model S, Model X and some Model Ys with hardware 4.0. Given that hardware 3 can't easily be swapped for hardware 4.0 due to physical characteristics, this rumor appears unlikely unless Tesla was under extreme supply constraints.


One of the exciting aspects of Project Highland is its potential to reduce manufacturing costs, thanks to single-piece casting, reduced wiring harnesses, and new materials. However, the expected pricing will be approximately 27,000 USD, as estimated by Tesla China Analyst. They aren't clear in their post, but this is assumed to be their estimate of manufacturing costs instead of the price of the vehicle. Even so, this is thousands of dollars cheaper than the current Model 3 manufacturing costs.

The Highland would be welcomed with open arms by the market. Tesla China Analyst went as far as to predict an "explosive increase in orders," given the vehicle's impressive overall package.


Are these Model 3 Highland vehicles covered up in Shanghai?
Are these Model 3 Highland vehicles covered up in Shanghai?

New rumors point to Project Highland being available soon. Sources state that the Model 3 Highland will be displayed in Chinese Tesla stores at the end of August. Mysteriously covered cars parked at Giga-Shanghai might be the new Model 3s, although confirmation is still pending. However, there are several signs that Tesla is about to open the doors for the new Model 3, as detailed in an earlier story.

With the Tesla Model 3 Highland, Tesla continues its innovation and disruptive design tradition. The reported changes, from appearance to hardware, signal a continued push towards affordability without compromising quality. The Tesla Model 3 Highland represents not just a car but a statement, a vision, and possibly, the new standard in electric mobility.

Rivian to Add Google Cast and Native YouTube App, Will Tesla Respond?

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Coming to Rivian vehicles over a software update is Google Cast and YouTube support, which will allow for seamless, high-quality content streaming to Rivian vehicles.

This is a big step forward for Rivian’s software integration, especially compared to Tesla, which has yet to integrate native apps or release the long-rumored Tesla native app store.

Google Cast

Google Cast is Google’s version of Apple AirPlay which is supported in a variety of audio and video streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, and more. By using a supported app, a user will be able to cast content directly to Rivian’s main 15.6” center screen.

Like Casting to a TV or Smart Device at home, this will allow you to play, pause, or skip back and forth using the vehicle’s touchscreen. Google Casting automatically pauses when the vehicle shifts into Drive.

Native YouTube App

Alongside Google Cast, Rivian is also bringing a native YouTube app to vehicles, enabling users to access YouTube’s video and music library from anywhere with a data connection. These features will be integrated right into Rivian’s vehicle operating system, which means they will receive regular software updates, and not be reliant on browser-based capabilities.

Similar to casting content, YouTube content will also automatically pause when the vehicle is shifted into Drive.

Tesla Equivalents

For the time being, there is no way to AirPlay or Cast video from a phone or tablet to Tesla’s front or rear screens. However, for some apps such as YouTube, you can send the video URL to the vehicle and have it open the YouTube app to that video.

To do this, open the YouTube app and find a video. Once you’d like to share it with the vehicle you can tap on share. You’ll then need to share it with the Tesla app which will then send it to your vehicle. On iPhones this requires you to scroll to the right and tap on More, which brings up the native sharing screen and has the Tesla app.

However, this is far more limited than including AirPlay or Google Cast support which will work for practically and video, even personal videos in your photo library.

Elon Musk mentioned back in 2016 that Tesla would add mirroring of phone apps to the center screen, but that has yet to materialize. More recently Musk mentioned a native X App coming to Tesla vehicles.

Tesla Theater

Tesla Theater allows users to stream videos from various platforms, including YouTube, but these are web-based applications, with no native applications available. This leaves some marked limitations on usability.

Tesla most recently announced in their 2024.14 update that the browser will be able to be expanded to full-screen mode when parked, enabling more access to streaming services on the web. Meanwhile, Google Cast and Apple Airplay continue to remain highly requested features.

Tesla FSD V12.4 - Features and Release Date

By Not a Tesla App Staff

The greatly anticipated FSD v12.4 is around the corner, with Elon Musk mentioning that it will be going to employees this weekend, with limited external testers next week.

Several significant improvements are coming with V12.4, which is being compared to the leap in performance that was previously seen between V12 and V11.

Improved Comfort and Reduced Interventions

There are quite a few improvements expected with V12.4, which Musk has said will be focused on user comfort by reducing hard accelerations and sudden braking. According to Musk, FSD v12.4 is also expected to have a 5-10x improvement in time between user interventions, which means that Tesla is rapidly approaching its goal for the Robotaxi announcement on August 8, 2024.

Steering Wheel Nag Removal

FSD V12.4 is expected to eliminate the steering wheel nag, as Musk confirmed its removal last week. The camera-based driver monitoring system will be taking over, providing a hands-free experience. These improvements will most likely benefit owners who have cabin cameras with infrared lights the most, while Tesla may continue to use steering wheel nag as a fallback mechanism.

Driverless Autopark

The second key feature that may be included in v12.4 will be Banish Autopark, previously known as Reverse Summon, allowing you to choose a parking spot, exit the vehicle and have the car park itself. Whether this feature makes it in v12.4 is yet to be seen, but Musk has mentioned that parking without a driver is coming soon.

Automatically Seek Parking Spot at Destination

Finally, your Tesla will now traverse a parking lot and automatically enter Autopark mode when arriving at a destination, according to a post from Musk.

Eligibility and Branch

Tesla recently added FSD v12.3.6 to the 2024.14 branch with updates 2024.14.5 and 2024.14.6. This makes it very likely that Tesla’s next FSD version will also be based on 2024.14, meaning that it will be available to any vehicle on 2024.14.x.

For users on update 2024.3.25, this means that they’ll receive all of the features included in updates 2024.8 and 2024.14, which should make it a massive update.

Release Date

Musk has mentioned that FSD V12.4 is going out to employee vehicles for internal testing this weekend, with external testing starting next week. The rollouts typically go slower than predicted but looks like we may see this begin shipping to customers by the end of the month.

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

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

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


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