Year in Review: Every feature Tesla launched in 2021

By Nuno Cristovao

We'll take a look back at 2021 and all the improvements and new features Tesla added to their vehicles.

When you consider that Tesla spent the first half of 2021 focusing on the new software for the Model S, it's amazing how many new features Tesla ended up releasing before the end of the year.

Non-Tesla owners often ask what is your favorite thing about Tesla. For many owners, it's without a doubt the software updates.

2021 features review

In 2021 Tesla added more than 50 features and improvements to their cars.

Some of the features are minor improvements, while others add completely new functionality to your car.

In 2021 Tesla added support for nine new languages to its user interface. They also improved more than 10 features such as car visualizations and the Dashcam.

Tesla now also offers additional entertainment such as TIDAL, new streaming services such as Disney+ and TikTok, and new games.

In total Tesla added more than 30 new features in 2021 alone.

Over years, you'll likely receive a hundred or more major software updates that will literally add hundreds of improvements and new features that your Tesla didn't have when you originally bought it.

Below we'll take a look at every feature Tesla added in 2021.

New Languages

all features in 2021

Your touchscreen is now available in over 20 languages. To switch your language setting, tap Controls > Display > Language > Touchscreen.

Improved Dark Mode / Night Mode

all features in 2021

You can now change to a dark themed display. Tap Controls > Display > Appearance and select Dark.

Hide Map Details

all features in 2021

Simplify your navigation app and hide map details by tapping the pin button on the map.

App Loading Progress Bar

all features in 2021

When using the car's web browser a splash screen will now be shown that includes a progress bar to let you know that the browser is loading.

Increased Regenerative Braking in Cold Weather

The amount of regenerative braking available in colder temperatures appears was increased. In temperatures of 30-40°F, many users are now seeing their cars remain with full regen braking available.

Improved Driver Profiles

all features in 2021

Each Driver Profile will now have its own individual Work and Home address. To update, select your profile, tap Navigation and long press either Work or Home.

TACC Chime

all features in 2021

You will now receive an audio alert when Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is enabled. To disable, tap Controls > Autopilot > Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Chime.

Vision-based Autopark

Autopark

Your vehicle can now automatically park in parallel and perpendicular spots. While driving below 15 mph (25 km/h), the instrument cluster will display a parking icon if it detects a potential parking spot. To initiate Autopark, tap-and-hold the Autopark button in the shift panel, and release the steering yoke. For more information on Autopark, please refer to the Owner's Manual.

Animal Visualizations

aniamls

Certain four-legged animals are now detected and are displayed in the in-car visualizations.

Dashcam Improvements

all features in 2021

Dashcam can now automatically save clips whenever your vehicle detects the occurrence of a safety event (such as an accident or airbag deployment). Recordings captured are stored locally and never transmitted to Tesla. To opt-in, tap Controls > Safety & Security > Dashcam > AUTO. To learn more about how to setup and use Dashcam, please refer to the Owner's Manual.

Manage Dashcam Clips

all features in 2021

Easily delete all dashcam video clips directly from the touchscreen by tapping Controls > Safety > Dashcam > Delete Dashcam Clips

Improved Wipers

all features in 2021

The windshield wiper wash sequence automatically adjusts to your vehicle speed to better clear salt and grime.

Improved Car Visualization

all features in 2021

The car's visualization on the display now looks more realistic and refined. It features an improved lighting source and now uses anti-aliasing to produce a sharper looking visualization.

Yoke Behavior Changes

all features in 2021

Your turn signals will now automatically turn off when the vehicle detects a merge, fork or lane change maneuver has been completed. If an upcoming navigation event is detected in the direction of the turn signal, or if the vehicle detects a subsequent lane change, the turn signal will not turn off until the maneuver is complete. Turn signals will always latch when pressed. Additionally, you can now press and hold to latch high beam, and to activate the windshield washer.

Note: Turn signals will cancel based on steering angle regardless of the selected setting for Automatic turn signals.

Bluetooth Progress Bar

all features in 2021

When streaming audio over Bluetooth, the car will now display a progress bar in addition to the time remaining to further help you understand how far along you are on the current track.

TIDAL

all features in 2021

TIDAL streaming is now available from the Media menu with a TIDAL account. You can listen to TIDAL playlists or albums in high-quality audio by connecting to Wi-Fi and pressing Download on the selected content.

Disney+

all features in 2021

You can now watch Disney+ in the Tesla Theater app. To launch Tesla Theater, tap the Entertainment icon in the Application Launcher and select the Theater tab while your car is in PARK.

TikTok

all features in 2021

You can now watch TikTok from your touchscreon. To launch, tap the Theater icon from the bottom bar and select TikTok while your car is in darn.

Sky Force Reloaded

all features in 2021

Sky Force Reloaded is the spirit of the classic arcade shoot 'em ups, captured with modern visuals and design. Meaty explosions, incinerating lasers, colossal bosses and diverse aircrafts to pilot.

Sonic the Hedgehog

all features in 2021

Jump into the original Sonic the Hedgehog! Speed by in a blur using the supersonic spin attack at high speed, defy gravity around loop- the-loops and defeat Dr. Eggman as the fastest hedgehog of all time. Gotta Go Fast!

Sonic the Hedgehog requires a controller to play.

Best game controllers for your Tesla

Sudoku

all features in 2021

Fill every square and enjoy this classic logic puzzle game, featuring five difficulty levels and a smart hint system for beginners.

The Battle of Polytopia - Multiplayer Support

all features in 2021

You can now play The Battle of Polytopia with friends using the multiplayer mode.

Light Show

all features in 2021

Watch your Tesla dance to a choreographed light show any time of year. Open Toybox, tap Light Show and follow the instructions.

See Tesla's Light Show in action

Detect Emergency Vehicles

You Tesla wil now be able to detect and react to certain emergency vehicles while using Autopilot.

Blind Spot Camera

all features in 2021

You can now automatically see a live camera view of your blind spot whenever you activate the turn signal. To enable, tap Controls > Autopilot > Automatic Blind Spot Camera.

Tesla Powerwall Coordination

all features in 2021

Your vehicle coordinates with Powerwall for enhanced charging during a power outage, without exceeding the energy and power capabilities of your Powerwall system. Powerwall continuously responds to the changing power needs of your home and will slow or stop your car's charging, keeping your home loads powered. During a power outage, your car will charge from the Powerwall whenever it is above the threshold set in the Tesla mobile app. You can change this threshold to balance your home and transportation energy needs, putting you in full control of your energy ecosystem. Powerwall can also use surplus solar to charge your vehicle during an outage if you keep your car plugged in while the sun is shining.

Boombox Megaphone

all features in 2021

Project your voice with additional authority using the new Megaphone function. Tap Toybox > Boombox > Megaphone.

Note: Your car must be in park to use Megaphone.

Adaptive Suspension Damping

all features in 2021

A recalibrated suspension damping algorithm allows for smoother control and improved ride comfort. A rebalanced rebound-to-compression ratio works with the all-new multilink rear suspension to enhance steering response and handling for a higher degree of road connection and more precise control during spirited driving.

Detect Uneven Tire Wear

all features in 2021

Your Tesla will now report whether there is uneven wear on your tires. If a tire is showing signs of uneven wear, a message will appear on your displaying letting you know that your tires should be inspected.

More about detecting uneven tire wear

Additional Car Information

all features in 2021

Additonal details are now displayed in your car's Software menu. Your car will now display supported cellular networks under Modem capabilities. It will also show whether your vehicle is compatible with Tesla's CCS adapter.

To view this information go to Controls > Software and tap on 'Additional Vehicle Information'.

Read more about CCS Adapter

Track Mode for 2021 Model S Plaid

all features in 2021

Optimize your Plaid configuration for dynamic driving exclusively on closed courses and experience the unmatched performance at many different venues. To enable, tap Controls > Pedals & Steering > Track Mode.

- Thermals: The heat pump system cools more aggressively, maximizing powertrain endurance and performance. Enable post-drive cooling to shorten wait times between sessions.

- Drive Systems: Torque vectoring authority is increased across the three motors, elevating the vehicle's agility and cornering capability. The accelerator pedal allows more precise torque control, and regenerative braking power is strengthened to recover more energy.

- Suspension: Adaptive damping reduces vehicle motions, improving handling and promoting driver confidence. Ride height is automatically set to 'Low' upon drive off.

- Display: A track-focused interface includes a lap timer, G-meter (real-time accelerometer), vehicle thermals monitor, Dashcam video capture, vehicle telemetry capture, and offers customization options.

Automated Seat Heaters

all features in 2021

First row seat heaters can now automatically regulate seat temperature based on the cabin environment and the climate control set temperature. To access seat heating controls, tap the temperature settings to bring up the HVAC panel.

Note: HVAC system must be in Auto to use automatic seat heating.

Driver Door Unlock

all features in 2021

Unlock only the driver door when approaching the vehicle by tapping Controls > Locks > Driver Door Unlock Mode.

Use Comfort Damping Suspension in Autopilot

all features in 2021

Your vehicle will now automatically transition to Comfort Suspension Damping when Autopilot is engaged. This setting is enabled by default. To disable, tap Controls > Suspension > Use Comfort Damping in Autopilot.

Immersive Sound

all features in 2021

Immersive Sound now has additional granularity along with an AUTO setting which will adjust based on the type of content playing. To access, tap Media > Audio Settings > Immersive Sound > AUTO.

Read more Immersive Sound

Request FSD Beta

all features in 2021

You can now request early access to Full Self-Driving Beta pending eligibility. To get started, tap Controls > Autopilot > Request Full Self-Driving Beta and follow the instructions.

Add Stop (Waypoints)

all features in 2021

Add a new stop to your route by tapping the "+" icon on the navigation search button and searching for a destination, or selecting a pin on the map.

Easily reorder or add multiple destinations to your route with updated arrival times. To add a stop, or edit a trip, initiate a navigation route, and tap the more options button on the turn list.

Seat and Steering Column Calibration

all features in 2021

You can now calibrate your seat and steering column if you're having any issues adjusting them. To calibrate your seat and steering column, you can go to Controls > Service and tap Seat Calibration.

Active Road Noise Reduction

all features in 2021

Your vehicle now has the ability to actively reduce low-frequency road noise while driving on rough surfaces. To accomplish this, the system uses the seat microphones to measure the noise in the cabin, then generates anti-noise through the speakers to create quiet zones around the occupants.

To access, tap Audio Settings > Options > Active Road Noise Reduction.

Customize App Launcher

all features in 2021

Drag and drop your favorite apps to any position along the bottom menu bar for easy access. To customize your menu bar, hold any icon and then drag to reorder. To adjust climate controls such as heated seats and defrost, tap on the temperature or swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Sentry Mode Live Access

all features in 2021

You can now view your car's surroundings from the Tesla app when parked to confirm the safety of your environment before returning to your car. Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla. To enable or disable, tap Controls > Safety > 'View Live Camera via Mobile App' from the vehicle touchscreen display.

Note: This feature requires mobile app version 4.2.1 or higher, and Premium Connectivity.

Read more about Sentry Mode Live Access

Subwoofer

all features in 2021

You can now adjust your subwoofer by bringing up your Media Player, and tapping the settings icon > Tone.

V11

all features in 2021

The car now features an updated UI that is consistent with the redesigned Model S. With it comes new and reorganized menus and options.

Cabin Camera Driver Monitoring

all features in 2021

The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now determine driver inattentiveness and provide you with audible alerts, to remind you to keep your eyes on the road when Autopilot is engaged. Camera images do not leave the vehicle itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless you enable data sharing. To change your data settings, tap Controls > Safety & Security > Data Sharing on your car's touchscreen.

Read more about Tesla's DMS

Car Wash Mode

all features in 2021

Car Wash Mode closes all windows, locks the charge port and disables windshield wipers, Sentry Mode, Walk-Away Door Locks and parking sensor chimes. For automatic car washes with conveyor belts, the Free Roll option shifts to Neutral and prevents the parking brake from automatically applying if you leave. To access, tap Controls > Service > Car Wash Mode.

Read more about Car Wash Mode

Disable Mirror Autodim

all features in 2021

You can enable or disable automatic dimming for your mirrors. To access, tap Controls > Mirror > Mirror Auto Dim.

Swap Between Miles/Percent

all features in 2021

You can now switch between battery percentage and distance units by tapping the range display next to the battery icon.

Remain Connected to Wi-Fi in Drive (Hotspot support)

all features in 2021

To remain connected to Wi-Fi when shifting into gear, tap Wi-Fi icon > Wi-Fi Settings > Remain Connected in Drive. This is especially useful for users who wish to use their hotspots for connectivity.

Read more about this feature

New Tesla App

all features in 2021

In 2021 Tesla completely redesigned their official phone app. Since releasing version 4.0, they have been adding new features at record pace.

The Tesla app now supports widgets, Sentry Mode Live Access, scheduled charging, customizable actions, improved notifications and much more.

More about the new Tesla app

FSD Beta

all features in 2021
v class="image-meta">
Black Tesla/YouTube

Tesla has made drastic improvements to thier FSD Beta. The beta is now on version 10.8.1 and is much more capable at navigating city streets. Tesla also released the beta to thousands of additional public testers using their Safety Score calculator.

Our Safety Score Calculator

FSD Visualizations

all features in 2021
v class="image-meta">
DirtyTesla/Twitter

This year Tesla made huge strides in car visualizations with their FSD Beta. Gone are the matrix-like graphics which were replaced with 3D models that are similar to the production visualizations. The visualizations do an excellent job in deteting not only road markings, but road edges, speed bumps, crosswalks and so much more.

Take a look at every FSD visualization

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

Latest Tesla app will now display any recalls for your vehicle

By Alex Jones
The Tesla app can now displayed vehicle recalls
The Tesla app can now displayed vehicle recalls

Like other automakers, Tesla issues vehicle recalls (many involving minor software tweaks) when a vehicle feature or hardware needs to be changed.

With the release of their latest app update (version 4.9), Twitter user Tesla_App_iOS, noticed that Tesla added a new API that could potentially show vehicle recall information.

It didn't appear that the Tesla app was yet using this new API, but just a couple days later it can now be seen in the Service area of the app.

The service section of the app is loaded via a webview, which is essentially a webpage that the app loads when the user navigates to that section.

This allows Tesla to make changes to that section without requiring an app update to display new information.

Tesla, along with other car manufacturers, maintains a database of applicable recalls based on the VIN of each respective vehicle, so Tesla already has all the information needed in order to display recalls for your specific vehicle.

In the App

The Tesla app can now displayed vehicle recalls
The Tesla app can now displayed vehicle recalls

Upon navigating to the Service section, Tesla will list any recalls available for your vehicle.

Tapping an individual recall will give you additional information.

Tesla also has a Learn More button that links off to Tesla's site, where they display detailed information about the given recall.

Notifications

Since the feature appears to just have gone live recently, it's not clear yet whether Tesla will send a push notification to the owner when there is a new recall issued.

A notification could prompt the user to schedule service for critical recalls.

What is currently unknown is if software recalls will also be included in the app, or if it'll be limited to recalls that require Tesla service.

Some software-based recalls, like the removal of Boombox while in drive are displayed in the vehicle's release notes.

This is a welcome new feature to the Tesla app that makes managing recalls simple and convenient.

You can now easily look at or confirm if there are any outstanding recalls with just a few taps.

The feature is available on iOS and Android.

It looks like this feature may not be available in every region yet, as some users like TeslaChinaRider are not seeing it available in the app yet.

Tesla has a history of testing new features in select markets before releasing it broadly. Hopefully that's the case with this feature as well.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

New FSD Beta 10.12 visualizations: new car models, open doors and turn signals

By Nuno Cristovao
New car models used in FSD Beta 10.12 visualization
New car models used in FSD Beta 10.12 visualization
mariapazz000/Twitter

The first signs of Tesla's FSD Beta 10.12 finally surfaced yesterday as Tesla employees started receiving the internal beta.

The internal beta initially had a version of 2022.12.3.10, but it looks like Tesla has aleady issued an update with version 2022.12.3.15 (FSD Beta 10.12.1).

It's not clear yet whether this will be the exact version that will be rolled out to public testers or if additional updates will be made.

If Tesla finds any major issues, they'll want to fix them before rolling out the update to external testers.

New Car Models

New car models
New car models
WholeMarsBlog/Twitter

FSD Beta 10.12 introduces new vehicle models for almost every vehicle type.

Some of the vehicles have been completely redesigned and are more detailed and realistic looking than the previous models.

For example, a sedan now has wheels, windows and a glass roof, instead of the previous simplistic look that resembled a Model S keyfob.

New Brake Lights

Although brakes lights were already displayed as of beta 9.0, Tesla is now displaying the third brake light as well, which has been required in the US since 1986.

Open Doors

FSD Beta 10.12 will now display open doors
FSD Beta 10.12 will now display open doors
WholeMarsBlog/Twitter

FSD Betas have been able to detect and stop or go around vehicles with open doors for a while now, but Tesla will now show open doors in the visualization.

When a surrounding vehicle's door is open, the 3D model will also show the open door and highlight the door in orange.

Turn Signals

FSD Beta now displays turn signals
FSD Beta now displays turn signals
BLKMDL3/Twitter

Elon said back in the summer of 2021 that Tesla will detect and respond to vehicle turn signals, hand gestures and more in the future.

With this release, FSD Beta now detects and visualizes turn signals in addition to brake lights.

The car will reportedly react to turn signals it has detected as well, which should help understand the intentions of other vehicles.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The last major FSD Beta release was version 10.11, which was first seen more than two months ago.

Tesla has been working on beta 10.12 for a while now and the amount of changes included in this update are huge according to Elon.

Musk said that due to the amount of changes in this beta, we can expect two steps forward and one step back.

This is a big one! Expect some two steps forward, one step back situations. These will be great ironed in point releases, hence ~10.12.2 or 10.13 for wider beta release.

- Elon Musk

There will be some issues, and in certain situations FSD may have regressed.

Tesla plans to fix any issues that arise with minor revisions to this release. Expect to see additional FSD Beta 10.12 releases such as 10.12.1 and 10.12.2 in the coming weeks.

Current Beta Testers

As we have seen with other recent betas, it may be a while until all current beta testers receive this latest beta.

With beta 10.11, we saw two revisions before the majority of testers received the beta. We may see a similar situation with this update, given the amount of changes that were made.

If you're a current beta tester, you may be waiting a couple weeks before getting this updated FSD Beta.

Additional Testers

There haven't been any signs of Tesla adding additional beta testers in the US since late 2021.

Elon has previously said that he hopes that Tesla will be able to add more testers who have opted in to the beta and have a Safety Score of 95 or greater in later revisions of beta 10.12.

Update 2022.12.3.15

FSD 10.12.1
Installed on 0% of cars
0 install(s) today
Last updated: May 24, 1:16 am

Interpretation of Beta 10.12 Release Notes

We have the technical releases notes for FSD Beta 10.12, but Reddit user asimo3089 did a great job at interpreting the release notes to give us a better understanding of what Tesla has improved in this update.

1. Your car better understands what is and is not drivable space. This makes it more confident in easy situations, and more capable in tricky situations. Your car can also now use medians for difficult left turns, and accelerates quicker to complete turns.

2. Your car now has a better idea of objects blocking camera views. Creeping should be less scary.

3. Improved path predictions of where other others on the road will be. This gives your car better decision making for turns.

4. Sounds like: Your car will drive itself to safety much more smoothly if your car finds itself in a place it shouldn't be. Better problem solving?

5. Your car should better see the lanes on the road, and how many of them there are, thanks to new data. This gives better turn confidence and path planning during a turn.

6. Your car is now trained on 180,000 new clips related to what lanes look like.

7. Your car is less likely to panic brake in a yellow light scenario, and has a better understanding of lane guidance when going through an intersection.

8. Road edges and road lines are now more accurate.

9. Your car now better understands visibility from the cameras, thanks to 30,000 new video clips of training data.

10. Speeds of motorcycles, pedestrians and cyclists is now more accurate. Plus, your car now better predicts which direction a pedestrian is walking.

11. Your car is now less likely to confuse a parked car and an idling car thanks to 41,000 new clips of training data. This should result in fewer "phantom brakes" or silly lane changes.

12. Your car now better understands objects that are far away from you.

13. Your car will plan a better path around vehicles with car doors open.

14. Objects that are not pedestrians, cyclists, etc, should have more accurate speed predictions.

15. When changing into an adjacent lane, your car will look further ahead at vehicle speeds. If somebody up ahead is braking, your car will handle it more comfortably.

16. Your car used to only predict acceleration (Not speed) for objects moving adjacently. Now your car will predict acceleration of all moving objects including objects accelerating across your path.

17. New 3D models for vehicles on your screen. You'll also be shown vehicles with their doors open.

18. Tesla retired a few old systems and gained 2 frames per second, per camera, resulting in better performance while self driving.

FSD Beta 10.12 is currently only available to employees, but we may see a wider release in the next couple days that includes public testers.

However, it could be several weeks before all current testers receive this update.

More details will surely be uncovered about this beta in the next few days. Stay tuned for more.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.0.2.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

30

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

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

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.0.2.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

30

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.