Top Tesla tips you may not know

By Nuno Cristovao

Redictate your text message

If you're replying to a text message and it wasn’t transcribed correctly, you can redo it. In a Model 3 or Model Y, just push in the right scroll wheel twice. The previous transcription will be thrown out and you can dictate your message again.

Top Tesla Tips
Top Tesla Tips
Not a Tesla App

Delete previous destinations

You can remove a recent destination from your navigation by swiping right on the address. You can remove favorite destinations the same way.

Quickly set GPS to home

You can quickly navigate to your home or work destination by swiping on the Navigate button. If you're near work it will navigate home, and if you’re near home it will navigate to work.

Quickly open calendar

You can tap the time on the screen to quickly jump into your calendar in the vehicle instead of having to go through the app menu.

Some settings are global

Some driver settings are global, meaning they affect every profile in the vehicle, while other settings are considered a personal preference and will only affect your profile. This lets you and your spouse have different stopping modes, favorite radio stations, etc.

A single USB drive for Sentry/Dashcam, Music and Boombox

You don't need to have separate USB drives for each feature. You can format your USB drive to have different partitions which makes the drive act as separate drives. You’ll want to create one partition for each feature.

Use voice commands while driving

There are close to 200 voice commands, there's likely one to do what you'd like so that you can keep your focus on the road. For example, you can say, “set temperate to 70 degrees”, instead of having to fiddle with the temperature slider on screen. Take a look at our full list of Tesla commands, and our Top 5 most useful voice commands.

Trunk height

If you have an automatic trunk, you can set the maximum height it will open to. This is useful if you're on the shorter side or if you have a lower garage. Read more about how to set your trunk to a desired height.

Charging at 240 volts is cheaper than using 120 volts

Charging at a higher rate is actually cheaper than charging at a slower rate. Your Tesla needs to power an inverter that translates your home’s AC energy into DC energy that is stored in your batteries. Powering that inverter uses quite a bit of energy, so the longer it's running the more electricity you’re using so the faster you can charge, the less time you need to run the inverter. Charging at 240 volts is about 12% more efficient than charging at 120.

Send address from your phone

If the app you use on your phone supports sharing an address to an app, then you can look up an address on your phone and share it directly to your car. For example if you’re using Google Maps, you can share a destination directly to your Tesla and avoid typing it again later.

Turn off HVAC

You can hold down the temperature icon in the launcher to turn off the HVAC completely.

Adjust seat heaters, check charge level and others functions while watching full screen video

While watching full screen video, there are controls to adjust climate temperature and screen brightness if you tap near the top of the screen. However, you can control even more settings without leaving your video by using your Tesla app.

Easily adjust wiper speed

The easiest way to change your wiper speed on a Model 3 or Y is to push the button on the left stalk for a single wipe, which will also bring up the wiper speed adjustment on the screen. You can then easily adjust it.

Screen Clean Mode

You may find that while wiping down your screen you touch buttons accidentally. There’s actually a 'screen clean' mode that requires you to hold your finger on the display in order to exit it, which means you can now clear your screen of smudges without tapping various buttons. You can find it under the Car > Service menu.

Charger handle opens charge port

This one may be obvious to most, but a surprise to some. If you use the charger that came with your Tesla, there’s a button on the handle that will open your charge port door. It does require your car to be unlocked and awake, so sometimes it’s useful to open one of the doors to wake up your car then push the button on the handle.

Easy way to stop the Autopilot nag screen

If you're on Autopilot and the car asks you to place your hands on the wheel, you can either torque the wheel a little bit, or just use one of the scroll wheels on the screen to let the car know you’re paying attention.

Range display

The range displayed in a Model 3 and Model Y are EPA values and they will not adjust based on your driving habit or weather conditions. It's roughly locked in to about 4 miles per kilowatt, depending on your exact model.

However, if you're trying to plan when to charge or how much charge you'll have left at the end of your destination then you’ll want to use the Energy app (under the ^ Apps menu). This will display a graph of your charge level and the distance to your destination that considers your driving style, weather elevation and much more.

If you enjoyed these quick tips, take a look at our list of more in-depth Tesla Tips and https://www.notateslaapp.com/how-to/how-tos.

Tesla Update 2024.20 Lets Matrix Headlights Adapt to Curves, Adds Supercharger Leaderboards and More

By Karan Singh

Tesla has been on a roll with updates recently, and now update 2024.20 was released to employees over the weekend. This update builds on the many features in the Spring Update and adds a few big improvements.

Adaptive Headlights

New updates to Adaptive Headlights are arriving for European cars with matrix headlights. The new update allows the headlights to adapt to curves in the road ahead of you, enabling better illumination. Having the adaptive headlights work for curves is the second major update for matrix headlights. Update 2024.8 added adaptive high-beam support, letting your high beams stay on longer by turning off select LEDs in the headlights.

Update 2024.2 first brought adaptive high beams to the new Model 3, before it was later introduced to older vehicles with matrix headlights. At this time, it’s not clear whether the improvements to headlights around curves will be exclusive to matrix headlights or also support the new Model 3.

How to Tell If You Have Matrix Headlights

How do you know if you have matrix headlights on your Tesla? On the outer edge of the headlight, there will be a large, round projector dome, like in the image below. If there isn’t a dome, those are standard non-matrix headlights.
Another way to tell is to run a stock light show while facing a wall. If the Tesla logo, in letters, pops up, you have matrix headlights.

Matrix headlights have a circular dome projector on the outer edge.
Matrix headlights have a circular dome projector on the outer edge.

For now, North America still does not have adaptive headlight support, mostly due to legislative and testing issues in the United States. The US recently approved adaptive headlights, and a Tesla employee mentioned they’re working on it. Canada has legalized adaptive headlights since 2018, so we see this deployed in North America at some point in the future.

Supercharger Races on Beach Buggy Racing 2

Tesla is still improving its Arcade functionality, with the addition of local leaderboards at Superchargers in Beach Buggy Racing 2. It appears that each individual Supercharger site will have its own leaderboard, which drivers can compete on while their cars charge. Tesla says there will also be special races to compete in this Beach Buggy Racing 2 update.

Tesla owners can plug in and play with a controller, the touchscreen, or their vehicle’s steering wheel. Thanks to steer-by-wire on the Cybertruck, the actual wheels on the truck won’t move like they do on other Tesla models when playing the game.

We continue to hope that future refreshes to the S, 3, X, and Y will eventually receive steer-by-wire as well, as the feature has quite a few unique uses, whether driving or parked.

Autopilot Strikes and Suspension

An updated Autopilot Strike system, similar to the one that is on Tesla’s upcoming FSD V12.4 update, is on 2024.20 as well. At five strikes, users will be suspended from the use of Autopilot like before, but now Tesla will remove a strike for each 7-day period the driver goes without receiving a strike.

FSD 12.4 also improves vision-based monitoring and removes the steering wheel nag, but that’s not in this latest Tesla update, but will likely be added in the future.

Tesla tends to release new Autopilot features in their FSD updates before releasing them to the wider public for regular Autopilot use.

Hot Weather Improvements

The last set of user-end improvements coming in 2024.20 will be related to hot weather, the opposite of 2024.2.6’s cold weather update. This set of changes intends to improve AUTO mode HVAC performance in hot weather, helping to cool down the cabin faster, while also maintaining comfort at lower noise levels.

There have been several updates in the last six months to Tesla’s HVAC systems, all helping to deliver a quieter, more comfortable experience, with one of the last major ones introducing cool-down or warm-up periods before blowing air into the car cabin.

Tesla Software in China Shows 'Employee FSD Beta Program' as Tesla Prepares for Launch

By Karan Singh

Chris Zeng, a Chinese Tesla content creator on X, recently posted an image with Tesla’s Spring Update – 2024.14, with the words “Employee FSD Beta Program: Registered.”

He also confirmed that although this text appears in the vehicle, there are no actual FSD features enabled yet.

FSD Beta Coming to China

Recently, Tesla began to offer Enhanced Autopilot subscriptions in China, and Chinese corporate giant Baidu announced that it will be providing enhanced 3D mapping for Tesla vehicles as well.

On a recent trip to China, Elon Musk spoke with Premier Li Qiang on the rollout of FSD to China. Later follow-ups said that “it may be possible [for FSD to arrive in China] very soon”.

FSD Shadow Mode

Tesla’s cars can operate FSD in Shadow Mode – which means that the vehicle is running FSD in the background without any real output except analytics. This is a common software practice that lets software engineers compare the process they’re testing against an existing known output and compare the results. In this case, Tesla compares what FSD would do to what the driver does, and any discrepancies are reported back to be analyzed.

With this information, we could guess that FSD has been operating in Shadow Mode in China for a while, and this new Employee FSD Beta Program will be the beginning of employee testing in China, providing even more data for the end-to-end process that is FSD V12.

FSD Beta, not Supervised FSD

Most interestingly, the photo refers to “FSD Beta” instead of “Supervised,” which Tesla started using with FSD 12.3.3 in March 2024. This could imply that FSD in China isn’t ready for a “Supervised” variant, and it’s considered to be in more of a testing stage.

In the photo, we can also see that it says “Wave 1,” which is what Tesla calls the group of employees who receive “pre-release” Tesla updates on their personal vehicles. Wave 1 serves as a final test for software before its released to the public. In most cases, the software is rolled out publicly within a couple of weeks, however, there have been times when bugs are found and Tesla releases revision before a public release.

Release Date

Prior to larger releases here in North America, we generally see Tesla ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) testing and verification vehicles on the roads, which have not yet been spotted in China.

Whether these vehicles will be needed in China is up for debate, but once FSD features begin rolling out to employees, we should get a better idea of a public release in China.

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