Tesla's Holiday Update: Unpacking The Massive Amount of Undocumented Changes [Updated]

By Not a Tesla App Staff
You can now tap a Supercharger's amenities icons
You can now tap a Supercharger's amenities icons

Tesla usually packs a bunch of smaller, undocumented changes into every update, and this year’s holiday update isn’t any different. In fact, the holiday update contains massive improvements under the hood, especially for vehicles with the Intel Atom processor. The undocumented changes in this update are just as good as the features themselves, and for some owners, they may be even more of a gift than what Tesla has outlined in the release notes.

The improvements include a seamless transition from WiFi to cellular data, eliminating dead zones, as well as hardware video decoded, which improves the Dashcam, Sentry Mode and lowers CPU usage, even while the vehicle is in use. However, there are many more. In total, we found eleven undocumented changes in this year’s holiday update.

Come with us as we go through each feature that may have gone under the radar.

Update: Since we originally published this article, there have been an additional two undocumented changes found. They’re listed below.

Explicit Audio Content

The explicit content setting now applies to Apple Podcasts in addition to the 'Streaming'
The explicit content setting now applies to Apple Podcasts in addition to the 'Streaming'

In the Audio Settings Options section, Tesla lets you block explicit content. Until now it only applied to the music service Tesla calls ‘Streaming,’ which is Slacker. However, with update 2023.44.30, this now applies to the new Apple Podcasts app as well. Unfortunately, it still does not apply to other streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music yet.

More Wheel & Tire Options

New wheel options
New wheel options
Roz_420

Under the Wheel & Tire section, you can now select from additional wheel options. Tesla has added two new Gemini wheel options. Although the metallic aero wheels are only available in China, you can now select them from the Wheel & Tire menu in other regions as well. This will update your vehicle’s visualizations on screen and in the app to show these wheels instead of the vehicle’s default wheels.

The other new option introduced is the Gemini Cap Kit wheel option, which is the same Gemini wheel, but with the covers removed and with the bolt covers, known as the cap kit added.

Switching your wheels in these menus will cause the infotainment system to restart.

Improved Transition to Cellular

Tesla has improved their transition from Wi-Fi to cellular connections
Tesla has improved their transition from Wi-Fi to cellular connections

Even if your vehicle is connected to WiFi, it will now immediately connect to cellular data once the vehicle is put into drive or reverse.

Previously, if a vehicle was connected to WiFi, it would often not have an internet connection for a period of time until the cellular connection was established.

The transition from WiFi to cellular now appears to be instant. Tesla may be activating the cellular connection as you enter the car, instead of waiting until the vehicle is put into drive.

Improved Reverse Functions

These has made two improvements to the vehicle while in reverse
These has made two improvements to the vehicle while in reverse
Not a Tesla App / KeaganGigatexas

There are two improvements to reverse in this update when the vehicle is in reverse.

The vehicle's visualization will now display reverse lane markers when the vehicle is in reverse, indicating the vehicle's path.

For vehicles equipped with ultrasonic sensors, the update brings an innovative feature - the distance to objects behind the vehicle will now dynamically change based on the steering wheel's position (video). For example, if the steering wheel is centered and will go straight backward, then the distance to an object will be for the object behind the vehicle. However, if the steering wheel is turned, then the distance will be for the object that is in the vehicle's direction.

View Supercharger Amenities on Map

When viewing details about a Supercharger in the vehicle, the amenity icons are now buttons that can be tapped to view the locations on the map. Before, Tesla would show you what type of amenities were nearby, but you can now view the exact shops or stores.

Autopilot / FSD Beta Strike Reset

FSD Beta strikes have been reset in the holiday update
FSD Beta strikes have been reset in the holiday update

With the holiday update, FSD Beta strikes have been reset for everyone. This gives everyone a clean slate when using the updated system that now applies to FSD Beta and Autopilot use.

If your vehicle has a cabin camera, you’ll lose access to Autopilot and FSD Beta after accumulating five strikes. If your vehicle doesn’t have a cabin camera, then you’re limited to three strikes.

Cabin Camera Privacy

You can now view the features the cabin camera is used for
You can now view the features the cabin camera is used for

You can now view which Tesla features have access to the cabin camera. Simply navigate to Controls > Software > Cabin Camera.

The vehicle will display all features that are enabled and have access to the vehicle's interior camera.

Dashcam Icons

Tesla has made various improvements to the vehicle's Dashcam feature
Tesla has made various improvements to the vehicle's Dashcam feature

The dashcam now features an icon that is more informative. The dashcam icon will now display these states:

Saving / Loading: This icon features a gray badge with arrows letting you know the dashcam is saving or retrieving footage to the USB drive.

Saved Footage: After successfully saving footage to the USB drive, a green checkmark badge will now briefly appear on the dashcam icon.

Error / Not Recording: If there is an error with your dashcam, USB drive or recording is turned off, there will be a gray badge with an 'X' that signifies that the dashcam is not actively recording.

Paused: A red pause badge shows up on the dashcam's icon if the dashcam is temporarily not recording, like if the Dashcam Viewer is actively being used.

Automatic Wipers

Windshield wipers no longer need to be set to Auto while in Autopilot
Windshield wipers no longer need to be set to Auto while in Autopilot

Automatic windshield wipers can now be turned off, even while Autopilot or FSD Beta is enabled.

Previously, you could change the time interval between wipes, but you could not turn off the wipers completely.

Dashcam Viewer Improvements

Tesla's Dashcam viewer is now much faster
Tesla's Dashcam viewer is now much faster

Thanks to hardware video decoding, the Dashcam Viewer is now faster and more responsive. When scrubbing the progress bar, video is now smoother and jumps around less.

Tesla Theater Improvements

Thanks to hardware decoding, Tesla's video services are also seeing improved performance
Thanks to hardware decoding, Tesla's video services are also seeing improved performance

Similar to the Dashcam Viewer improvements, Tesla Theater is now much faster and smoother as well. Improvements are noticed while browsing content, playing content and minimizing Tesla Theater.

Automatic Emergency Braking, Now Required

If you have Autopilot or FSD enabled in settings, then AEB is now required
If you have Autopilot or FSD enabled in settings, then AEB is now required
Not a Tesla App

Automatic Emergency Braking, which can help stop your vehicle for perpendicular dangers, or in reverse, must now remain enabled if your vehicle is set up to use Autopilot or FSD Beta, even if they are not active.

Ability to Turn Off Automatic 911 Calling

Automatic 911 calling is an optional feature
Automatic 911 calling is an optional feature

With this update, your vehicle will automatically call 911 if airbags are deployed and your phone is actively connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth.

The vehicle shows a countdown in such as situation, which allows you to cancel the call, however, the feature is optional and can be turned off by navigating to Controls > Safety > Automatic 911 Call.

The holiday update appears to have been a massive clean up by Tesla, where they not only improved performance but included many quality-of-life features. This is resulting in a smoother experience for owners and hopefully leaves some additional bandwidth for additional features in the future.

Musk Teases New Model for Early 2025 That Will Use a Mix of Next-Gen and Current Platforms

By Cláudio Afonso

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025”. This was one of the key sentences that were part of Tesla’s deck shared on Tuesday directly before its financial results.

Since Reuters’ report a few weeks ago saying Tesla had “scrapped” the highly expected cheaper model— which Elon quickly denied on X —retail and institutional shareholders started asking for more details on Tesla’s product roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

In the earnings conference call, Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla expects to launch the next model in “early 2025, if not late this year”.

“We've updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of previously mentioned start of production in the second half of 2025. So, we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year. “

Over concerns of temporary production halts to update the factories for these new models, Musk said that Tesla will produce new models with certain aspects from their next-generation platform and current models. This will reduce the number of changes needed on production lines and allow Tesla not only to ramp up production faster but also to get the vehicles to market quicker.

Model Y Redesign

Tesla appears to hit that their next-gen vehicle will be less “next-gen” than they were initially aiming for, but to get a new vehicle out the door by late 2024, the process would already have to be in motion. Tesla may likely be referring to the redesigned Model Y, which is expected to reuse many parts from the new Model 3. Earlier this year, Tesla said that the redesigned Model Y will not be released this year, so it makes sense that they’re looking to speed up that production.

Tesla CEO concluded by saying that these measures will allow Tesla to reach a capacity of over 3 million units. Tesla produced 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. However, this year they’re ramping up Cybertruck production and introduced the new Model 3 into new markets.

And we think this should allow us to get to over 3 million vehicles of capacity when realized to the full extent.

Tesla reported on Tuesday its earnings results followed by a conference call where it teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Earlier in the day, Tesla announced the new Performance variant of its sedan Model 3 with deliveries in the United States starting already next month. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and goes from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla on FSD: Close to License Deal With Major Automaker, Announces Miles Driven on FSD v12

By Cláudio Afonso

On Tuesday Tesla reported its earnings results followed by a conference call that brought several updates on the company’s roadmap for future vehicles, autonomous driving, Optimus and much more.

While answering a question from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney about updates on the licensing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, Elon Musk said they’re talking to one major auto manufacturer and there’s “a good chance” the company signs the first deal before year-end. However, he went on to say that it would probably be three years before the necessary changes are integrated into the car.

I think we have a good chance we do sign a deal this year

Brings Benefits to Tesla

The technology would require other automakers to start using the same cameras and hardware as Tesla, meaning that Tesla may not only generate money from licensing FSD but also from selling the hardware itself. However, there would be other benefits as well. When licensing FSD, Tesla would likely own the data gathered with the system well, further helping them with data and edge cases that need to be solved to reach full autonomy.

people don't understand all cars will need to be smart cars… Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional.

Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja commented pointing out that future partners “take a lot of time in their product life cycle” resulting in a gap between the deal signing and the arrival in the market of Tesla’s FSD software.

Miles Driven With FSD

On the conference call, Musk added that Tesla now has over 300 million miles that have been driven with FSD v12 since it was launched just last month. He added that it's becoming “very clear that the vision-based approach with end-to-end neural networks is the right solution for scalable autonomy”.

Tesla said it will continue to increase its “core AI infrastructure capacity in the coming months” adding that in the first quarter, it completed the transition to hardware 4.0 with China now receiving the upgraded FSD computer and cameras.

Over the weekend, Tesla reduced the price of FSD dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per 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.

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