A great feature that all Teslas have is the ability to browse the web using the car's touch screen.
All Teslas have a Chromium-based browser, which is the same engine that powers Google Chrome. Although the browser is much faster in newer models, it's a great tool to have at your disposal.
With update 2022.12.1 (release notes) Tesla has made several improvements to make the browsing experience even better. Thanks to Dan Burkland (@DBurkland) on Twitter, we now have details and images on everything Tesla updated with its browser in 2022.12.
In Tesla v11, the browser became a part of the Entertainment section, which meant that the browser now had an additional bar on top. The bar displayed the word Entertainment, and let you easily switch between Aracade, Theater, Toybox, or the Browser. Unfortunately, it also decreased the amount of space available to display a website's contents.
With 2022.12.1, this bar has been removed, so that back, forward and the address bar are now at the very top again.
When typing in a URL or search phrase in the address bar, the browser will now display autocomplete results underneath the address bar.
The autocomplete results are similar to what you'd see on a desktop or mobile device, providing helpful suggestions based on your query or browsing history.
The browser itself has been updated to a newer version of Chromium which brings improved security and browser rendering.
Your browser favorites dialog has also received a minor facelift. The information that is displayed remains the same, but the UI now has a cleaner look.
Tesla favorites received a minor facelift
New Welcome Screen
The loading screen for the browser has been updated from a generic icon to the Tesla logo.
In addition to your favorites showing up in the Favorites menu, Tesla appears to now show you your most visited sites directly on the welcome screen as well. This is similar to how other major browser will display your most used sites when opening a new tab.
New Tesla browser loading screen
Since your browsing history is now used for search autocomplete, Tesla has also added the ability to clear your browser history.
You can now clear your Tesla's browsing data
You can remove a single result from your history by tapping on the X button in the address bar autocomplete dropdown, or you can clear your complete browsing history by navigating to Controls > Service and tapping on Delete Browser Data.
The web browser is certainly a useful function in Teslas, as it gives you the ability to view sites or open web-based apps that you might otherwise not have access to.
Since Tesla doesn't yet support apps, one use for the browser is to display web-based apps or games.
One feature I'd love to see Tesla add in the near future is a "full screen" mode that will let you browse the web using your vehicle's entire screen.
Update 2022.12.1 has brought many improvements to Tesla vehicles. One of the other major improvements included in this update is the ability to add seat heaters, wiper and window defrosts back to the launcher.
This update has just started rolling out, with only 2% of the entire fleet having access to the update so far, so be sure to keep an eye out for these exciting features.
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Tesla has signaled a more open approach by allowing other automakers to access its Supercharger network. This move, spurred on by a groundbreaking deal with Ford, is more than a simple act of corporate benevolence. Superchargers, now a significant profit center for Tesla, could potentially revolutionize the electric vehicle charging infrastructure by making it universally accessible.
Patents Unleashed: A Closer Look
Tesla has also made strides in the world of intellectual property, opening up select patents to other automakers. This move echoes a similar step taken nearly a decade ago when Tesla announced an open-source approach to its patents. However, the details warrant attention. Tesla isn't giving away these patents out of pure altruism. There's an important caveat; Tesla requires a cross-license deal, effectively asking for access to the other automakers' patents in return. Critics argue that this does not constitute "free" access. It's a strategic maneuver aimed at mutual growth rather than unilateral generosity.
FSD and Autopilot: A Bold Proposition
Adding to the mix, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk announced the possibility of licensing Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) technologies to other automakers. This move could transform the landscape of autonomous driving by making Tesla's advanced technologies more widely accessible. However, the practical implementation is a complex process. Past discussions about licensing self-driving technology to other automakers have not materialized, indicating potential hurdles ahead.
An Industry Gamechanger
While the recent developments have generated much buzz, the long-term implications for Tesla and the electric vehicle industry remain unclear. Directly licensing technologies and working with companies that have designed them is a viable way to accelerate technological adoption. Tesla's moves could pave the way for more partnerships akin to its early collaborations with Daimler and Toyota. However, the willingness and ability of other automakers to integrate Tesla's technology remain to be seen.
The overarching narrative here aligns with Tesla's mission statement to help accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. By allowing broader access to its technologies, Tesla stands to propel the entire industry forward, even if it potentially narrows its competitive edge. But as Musk stated, "Patents do not define technology leadership...but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world's most talented engineers."
Whether this bold gambit will yield the intended results or backfire remains a question only time will answer. For now, Tesla continues to push boundaries, challenging the status quo in its relentless pursuit of a sustainable future.
In the ongoing quest to deliver advanced vehicular technology, Tesla never fails to surprise. Tesla enthusiasts have new reasons to rejoice as a host of features are set to augment Service Mode in an upcoming software update.
Pioneering Enhancements: From Diagnostics to Calibrations
With every update, Tesla's futuristic touch becomes more evident. Michal Gapinski, creator of the Tesla Android Project, which famously enables Apple CarPlay in Teslas through a web-based solution, has shared some upcoming features to Tesla's Service Mode with us. In a forthcoming software update, Service Mode will house new diagnostic screens for seat belts, the HVAC system, and what appears to be a new window calibration screen. These screens promise to provide a comprehensive, accessible system check-up that offers valuable insights into your Tesla's health.
Sealt Belt Service Menu
Tesla is making improvements to its Service Mode
The first new Service Mode menu appears to display details about Tesla's seat sensors, seat belts and the restraint control module (RCM). The car's visualization is displayed from the top with various areas are highlighted around the vehicle including what appears to be the seat sensors, seat belt buckles and retractors. Tesla displayed how they're tied together and how they communicate with the RCM.
New Window Calibration Menu
Tesla is making improvements to its window calibration system
But that's not all. Tesla also appears to be adding a new menu for calibrating vehicle windows. This updated window calibration menu features a new visualization, lets you easily calibrate each window individually and displays the generation of the hardware installed.
A particularly intriguing feature in the upcoming update is a dedicated service mode for Tesla's HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. This unique feature will display fan RPM and temperatures in various areas, seemingly allowing a multi-angle view of the HVAC system's visualization.
Though Service Mode is tailored for technicians or Tesla owners with a deep understanding of their vehicle, it offers a new level of engagement, providing detailed insights that can help troubleshoot, reset, calibrate, and even configure new parts.
Accessing Service Mode
To access Service Mode, navigate to Controls > Software, and tap and hold on the vehicle's model name that appears underneath the car's image until a water ripple appears. Then release and type 'service' in the dialog box before hitting 'ok'. It is crucial, however, not to make changes unless you understand the implications fully, as they could negatively affect the vehicle. Moreover, DO NOT drive with Service Mode activated, as it disables critical safety features like traction control.
While the new Service Mode features are not in production yet, they are expected to debut in an upcoming update. As we eagerly await these enhancements, one thing is clear - Tesla continues to push the envelope in providing owners with an unparalleled, comprehensive understanding of their vehicles.
Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments as they're expected in an upcoming software update.
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