Tesla is cutting edge, even bleeding edge technology, but sometimes returning to the classics can help too. There is no doubt Elon Musk and likely several Tesla fans watched David Hasselhoff play Michael Knight in Knight Rider in the 1980s.
At that time, the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT) Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was the most advanced vehicle on the planet. The artificially intelligent car could do just about anything, drive by itself, take commands and go really, really fast. Those things all sound familiar. Lots of KITT's features are in Teslas, but there was one item that needed some work — Sentry Mode.
Tesla's Sentry Mode Improvements in 2022
Tesla continually tweaked and added more features to Sentry Mode in 2022. With the 2022 holiday update Tesla added the ability to view the vehicle's cabin camera directly from the app when Sentry Mode or Dog Mode are engaged.
In the prior update, Tesla added the ability to turn off camera-based detection, resulting in fewer Sentry Mode alerts in crowded areas. In some regions, Tesla also added the capability to adjust the length of each Sentry Mode clip.
In addition to these enhancements, Tesla now lets you use Sentry Mode and Dog Mode at the same time, as well as being able to disable Sentry Mode sounds.
Sentry Mode to Calm Down
KITT's advantage was that no one knew it was this technologically advanced car hiding a lot of tricks under the hood. KITT was super stealthy, except for the red light on the front of the shiny black front end, slowly pulsing from side to side.
Sentry Mode is a modern-day KITT, but instead of playing it cool like the Trans Am, Tesla's Sentry Mode freaks out, blinding everyone in sight. Every Tesla owner has returned to their car with a Sentry Mode notification. A lot of the time, it is some poor unsuspecting person walking to their car, and suddenly they are blinded by thousands of lumens.
Lights will Pulsate in Update 2023.2
Another Sentry Mode improvement is about to be introduced in update 2023.2. When Sentry Mode is enabled, the system will no longer blind passers-by with its bright headlights. Instead of full-on panic mode, it will now emit a gradual pulse of the headlights, ramping them up and down as a sort of warning. Hopefully, this stealthy, calm way of handling the problem will result in fewer surprised people being forced into the spotlight. It will also help when viewing Sentry Mode clips by not washing out the surroundings due to the bright flashes.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.
Deciphering the 'T'
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X
Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.
This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!
This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.
Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.
Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades
Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.
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