Next Tesla Update to Include Pulsating Headlights in Sentry Mode [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Another Sentry Mode improvement is coming
Another Sentry Mode improvement is coming

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.

This feature is available in Tesla's 2023.2 update, which also includes the ability to automatically adjust the temperature of your steering wheel.

Sentry Mode Lights Video

In the video below you can see the updated Sentry Mode lights when a possible threat is detected. This is currently available for the Model 3 and Model Y.

You can read the full release notes for the 2023.2.0.5 update in our updates section.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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