Tesla Holiday Update Wish List Part 3: Entertainment and Connectivity

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla Owners wish list for the holiday update
Tesla Owners wish list for the holiday update
Not a Tesla App

Elon Musk has always maintained that he wants a Tesla to be the most fun you can have in a car. During the holiday season, Tesla is by far the most festive automobile on the road. Tesla owners are a little more festive this time of year as well because we all know the best update of the year will soon be downloaded to all the good Teslas.

This article, the third in our series on the Holiday Update Wish List, focuses on advancements in in-car entertainment and digital connectivity.

App Store for Third-Party Apps

A significant leap in Tesla's software offering would be an official App Store. We’ve seen a few hints of this, but clearly, owners want it as this feature would open a new realm of possibilities, allowing drivers and passengers to download and use third-party apps directly on the vehicle's interface.

Integrating an App Store could bring various applications, from navigation aids to productivity tools, and more entertainment options. This move would actually help free up Tesla engineers from the continuous cycle of developing and integrating additional streaming services, such as SiriusXM, YouTube TV, Fubo, Amazon Music, and many others.

Games would also be a major attraction to Tesla’s App Store. With an App Store, Tesla could rely on game publishers and other third-party developers for porting andn developing games that could be played in the vehicle. This move would shift how we perceive car infotainment systems, turning Tesla's impressive touchscreens into hubs of personalization and utility.

Elevating the Music Experience with Spotify

The Tesla community has long requested improved Spotify integration, particularly regarding streaming quality. With the potential increase in Spotify's streaming bitrate to 320 kbps, Tesla could offer an audiophile-grade listening experience, leveraging the vehicle's premium sound system to deliver rich, high-fidelity audio. Such an upgrade would not only please music enthusiasts but also reinforce Tesla's commitment to offering premium, cutting-edge vehicle features.

A realistic possibility is the inclusion of Apple Music podcasts which has been hinted at by Greentheonly after finding some references to them in one of Tesla’s recent software updates.

Advanced Bluetooth Audio Support

In line with enhancing audio experiences, Tesla owners are asking Santa Musk to support higher-quality Bluetooth audio. This improvement would cater to an increasingly discerning customer base that values superior sound quality for their media consumption. Musk previously hinted at lossless audio and AirPlay integration in Tesla vehicles, but its not clear whether Tesla ever started development on these features.

By introducing an App Store, enhancing streaming quality, and upgrading Bluetooth audio support, Tesla would build upon its already good set of entertainment offerings. These features are not just about providing entertainment though; they're about creating an immersive experience that resonates with the lifestyles and preferences of Tesla drivers, who are often at the forefront of technology. Are these items on Santa’s shopping list? We will have to wait until the holiday update is released.

Tesla Looks to Add New Full Self-Driving and Premium Connectivity Plans in Canada

By Kevin Armstrong
FSD subscription may be coming to Canada
FSD subscription may be coming to Canada

Tesla may soon support a monthly FSD subscription and the Premium Connectivity annual plan for Canadian customers. The possible move was discussed on X as Tesla’s Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development, Rohan Patel, responded to inquiries.

FSD Beta Subscription in Canada

The potential introduction of the FSD beta subscription in Canada represents a notable evolution in Tesla’s FSD pricing. The monthly subscription is available in the U.S. for $200 USD per month, this service allows Tesla owners to access the company’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Considering currency exchange rates, this could translate to around $270 CAD monthly for Canadian consumers. This pricing strategy aims to make Tesla’s ADAS features more accessible, offering flexibility to subscribe or unsubscribe based on individual needs and circumstances, such as seasonal driving preferences. Currently, Canadian customers only have the option to buy FSD in full at $16,000 CAD.

While a subscription service for FSD Beta may allow more drivers to try out the technology, it will also assist Tesla in gathering more information and improving the system faster. The more miles clocked by FSD, the more the system learns.

Miles driven on FSD
Miles driven on FSD

Premium Connectivity Annual Plan

Alongside the FSD beta, Tesla is exploring the possibility of offering an annual subscription model for its Premium Connectivity service in Canada. Tesla started offering an annual subscription for Premium Connectivity in the US back in 2022 at $99.99, representing a 20% savings. Premium connectivity offers drivers additional features such as Live Traffic Visualization, Satellite-View Maps, and streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. The anticipated price for Canadian subscribers is set to be around $139.99 annually, offering a savings opportunity compared to the current monthly subscription rate of $13.99 CAD.

Patel's engagement on X highlights Tesla's proactive approach to addressing potential legal and regulatory barriers that might impede the introduction of these services in Canada. He committed to investigating these issues, underscoring Tesla's dedication to its Canadian customer base.

Strategic Investments and Enthusiastic Community

Tesla's plans for Canada go beyond just offering new subscription services. The company has made significant investments in manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain operations in the country.

Tesla FSD Beta v12 Auto Parks, Completes U-Turns, But Removes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Ability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers

Tesla's FSD Beta version 12.2.1, update 2023.44.30.20, recently started going out to some owners, which resulted in more videos posted on X. There are several examples of amazing technology at work, but also evidence that more work is needed.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla's Director of Autopilot Software, recently highlighted the sophistication of FSD Beta v12 on X, emphasizing how the system's end-to-end approach is tackling complex driving scenarios with remarkable ease. His response came to a video of FSD maneuvering around a large puddle.

FSD V12 Does U-Turns

One of the standout features of FSD Beta v12 is its ability to execute U-turns seamlessly when required by the route. This is where real-world examples show the good and the bad of this highly advanced maneuver come into play. X user AI DRIVR, an account posting several high-quality videos of V12.2.1 in action, demonstrates a flawless U-turn.

Unfortunately, not all U-turns posted on X are as pretty; Randolph Kim has been experimenting with several scenarios. While later videos showed better behavior with u-turns and roundabouts, the earlier attempts had to be disengaged.

Parking Mode / First Glimpse at Park Seek

During our first glimpse of FSD v12 during Musk’s livestream, we noticed a new behavior when the vehicle reached its destination. Instead of just stopping, the vehicle now pulled over to the side of the road. However, it looks like the newest release goes one step further.

In a video by ArthurFromX, the vehicle is navigating to a parking lot. Not only does the vehicle successfully navigate to the parking lot, but it hunts around for a spot and then successfully parks without any additional instructions.

This could be our first glimpse at Tesla’s upcoming Park Seek feature that will eventually let the vehicle drop you off at the door and then go park itself.

Return of the Snapshot Button

Tesla appears to have reintroduced the Snapshot button in this update, at least to some owners. The snapshot button allows drivers to send additional information to Tesla regarding Autopilot's performance. This feature and the existing voice command feedback option provide Tesla with invaluable data to improve the FSD system further.

Automatic Speed Offset

Another noteworthy addition is the Automatic Set Speed Offset feature, which grants the vehicle autonomy to adjust its speed based on factors such as road type, traffic flow, and environmental conditions. The video below shows this feature in action. The feature is turned off by default and it currently only applies to street-level roads, but it’s a shift toward more human-like behavior for FSD Beta.

TACC is No Longer Accessible

Recently, Tesla revised the Autopilot activation method to avoid confusion and offered drivers two choices — a single pull of the stalk to enable FSD Beta or the traditional two taps. However, with FSD Beta v12, drivers are now required to use the single pull method to activate Autopilot.

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) has traditionally been one pull of the stalk and Autopilot two pulls, but with the new single-pull method to activate Autopilot, TACC becomes unavailable. This hasn’t been a big deal until the release of FSD v12. With v12 Tesla is now requiring FSD Beta to use the single tap activation method.

This means that if a driver chooses to use FSD Beta, then TACC is no longer accessible. The only way to enable it is to go into Controls > Autopilot and turn off FSD Beta and instead choose Autosteer (or TACC). However, if you wish to enable FSD Beta again later, then it requires the vehicle to be in Park. Switching between Autosteer and FSD Beta isn’t practical for drivers. For those who rely on TACC, this issue could be a significant disadvantage in this release.

Update 2023.44.30.20

FSD 12.2.1
Installed on 0% of vehicles
0 Installs today
Last updated: Feb 25, 6:00 am

Several drivers have praised FSD Beta v12’s ability to navigate complex situations, better decision-making, and smoother behavior. However, as with any cutting-edge technology, there have been instances where the system's responses have room for improvement, highlighting the importance of its continued development.

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