Tesla Update Adds New Way to Activate Autopilot and Introduces Separate Rear Screen Audio

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Independent audio for the rear screen is now available over Bluetooth headphones
Independent audio for the rear screen is now available over Bluetooth headphones

Tesla's latest software update, version 2023.38.8, introduces two new features. Tesla has added simplier way to activate Autopilot and they're also introducing the ability to have separate audio for the rear passengers when using the back display.

Simplified Autopilot Activation

With update 2023.38.8, Tesla has added a new option that lets you choose how to activate Autopilot. In Controls > Autopilot, you can now choose whether it takes one tap of the right stalk to activate Autopilot, or the traditional two taps.

A single tap of the right stalk simplifies the activation process, making it more intuitive, however, it also appears to disable access for Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC). It's not clear why Tesla didn't simply swap the controls, making one tap for Autopilot and two taps for TACC, but it seems this could have confused owners, leading some drivers to think Autopilot was activated when it fact it was just TACC.

Tesla adds a new way to activate Autopilot
Tesla adds a new way to activate Autopilot

For owners with Basic Autopilot, getting rid of TACC could reduce the driving experience, especially when making lane changes while on Autopilot, which normally disables Autopilot, but keeps TACC enabled.

This new one-tap option aligns better with others vehicles that don't have stalks, such as the Model S, where Autopilot can be activated with one click of the scroll wheel.

Enhanced Audio Experience for Rear Passengers

Another addition in this update is for the new Model 3 with a rear screen. Musk previously hinted at this upcoming feature, saying that Tesla would like to improve the audio expencine so that passengers in the front don't need to listen to the audio from the rear screen. At the time, we thought this feature would apply to the redesigned Model S and Model X, which also have rear screens, but it looks like the new Model 3 is getting the feature first.

This new feature allows rear passengers to connect Bluetooth headphones and listen to the audio from the rear display without interferring without other passengers.

This means that while the front passengers are listening to music through the car's speakers, the rear passengers can independently enjoy content from the Theater app.

Tesla added a new settings icon to the rear display that lets you configure up to two Bluetooth headphones.

The release notes for this feature state:

Rear Passenger Headphones

Passengers in the back seat can listen on wireless Bluetooth headphones when watching the Theater app on the rear touchscreen. The rest of the vehicle can continue to listen to other audio from the front.Pair your headphones at App Launcher > Rear Display > Settings > Add New Headphones. To listen, turn on the headphones (up to two), open a Theater app on the rear screen, and hit play.

This addition will definitely improve the experience for car owners who take advantage of the rear screen, as the audio no longer needs to be played throughout the car.

Although the new Model 3 is the first to receive this new feature, the redesigned Model S and Model X can't be far behind.

Tesla Holiday Update Wish List Part 3: Entertainment and Connectivity

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla Owners wish list for the holiday update
Tesla Owners wish list for the holiday update
Not a Tesla App

Elon Musk has always maintained that he wants a Tesla to be the most fun you can have in a car. During the holiday season, Tesla is by far the most festive automobile on the road. Tesla owners are a little more festive this time of year as well because we all know the best update of the year will soon be downloaded to all the good Teslas.

This article, the third in our series on the Holiday Update Wish List, focuses on advancements in in-car entertainment and digital connectivity.

App Store for Third-Party Apps

A significant leap in Tesla's software offering would be an official App Store. We’ve seen a few hints of this, but clearly, owners want it as this feature would open a new realm of possibilities, allowing drivers and passengers to download and use third-party apps directly on the vehicle's interface.

Integrating an App Store could bring various applications, from navigation aids to productivity tools, and more entertainment options. This move would actually help free up Tesla engineers from the continuous cycle of developing and integrating additional streaming services, such as SiriusXM, YouTube TV, Fubo, Amazon Music, and many others.

Games would also be a major attraction to Tesla’s App Store. With an App Store, Tesla could rely on game publishers and other third-party developers for porting andn developing games that could be played in the vehicle. This move would shift how we perceive car infotainment systems, turning Tesla's impressive touchscreens into hubs of personalization and utility.

Elevating the Music Experience with Spotify

The Tesla community has long requested improved Spotify integration, particularly regarding streaming quality. With the potential increase in Spotify's streaming bitrate to 320 kbps, Tesla could offer an audiophile-grade listening experience, leveraging the vehicle's premium sound system to deliver rich, high-fidelity audio. Such an upgrade would not only please music enthusiasts but also reinforce Tesla's commitment to offering premium, cutting-edge vehicle features.

A realistic possibility is the inclusion of Apple Music podcasts which has been hinted at by Greentheonly after finding some references to them in one of Tesla’s recent software updates.

Advanced Bluetooth Audio Support

In line with enhancing audio experiences, Tesla owners are asking Santa Musk to support higher-quality Bluetooth audio. This improvement would cater to an increasingly discerning customer base that values superior sound quality for their media consumption. Musk previously hinted at lossless audio and AirPlay integration in Tesla vehicles, but its not clear whether Tesla ever started development on these features.

By introducing an App Store, enhancing streaming quality, and upgrading Bluetooth audio support, Tesla would build upon its already good set of entertainment offerings. These features are not just about providing entertainment though; they're about creating an immersive experience that resonates with the lifestyles and preferences of Tesla drivers, who are often at the forefront of technology. Are these items on Santa’s shopping list? We will have to wait until the holiday update is released.

Cybertruck Foundation Series Offered to Early Reservation Holders: $120K, Lifetime Connectivity and More

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is offering the Cybertruck Foundation Series to its first customers
Tesla is offering the Cybertruck Foundation Series to its first customers
Paul / niccruzpatane/X

The first Cybertrucks will be part of a limited edition called the Cybertruck Foundation Series. Nic Cruz Patane (@niccruzpatane), unearthed source code showing that this limited edition, fully optioned series will offer a suite of premium accessories and features.

According to some early Cybertruck reservation holders, they’re now being invited to configure their Cybertruck Foundation Series at a price of $119,990.

Lifetime Premium Connectivity and Accessories

One of the most notable inclusions in the Foundation Series is the lifetime premium connectivity. This feature currently costs $99 a year. The only other vehicles that include free premium connectivity for the life of the vehicle are vehicles ordered before June 2018. After this date Tesla introduced the premium connectivity package for $10/month or $99/year. By reintroducing it as a lifetime offering, Tesla is enhancing the value proposition of the Cybertruck, possibly saving owners $1,000 or more over the vehicle’s life.

PowerShare: The Next Level in EV Technology

In addition to this, the series comes with an updated universal wall connector with “PowerShare” capabilities. It also includes a new PowerShare mobile connector, which Tesla has yet to unveil.

The new universal wall connector with PowerShare capabilities is a standout feature. This innovative technology allows the Cybertruck to receive power and send it back to the home. It transforms the vehicle into a mobile power source, a concept that blurs the lines between automotive and home energy solutions.

Similarly, the new PowerShare mobile connector is a step forward in bi-directional charging technology. There’s little that’s known about this new mobile connector, but some text on Tesla’s site reveals that there will be outlets on the connector itself. This will allow owners can hook up devices directly, using the Cybertruck as an alternative to traditional generators. This feature particularly appeals to outdoor enthusiasts and professionals requiring portable power solutions.

Although details are scarce, the PowerShare home backup seems to be the final piece in Tesla's puzzle to enable the Cybertruck to power a home. This feature would control and limit when the Cybertruck could feed energy back into the house. These new features could position the Cybertruck as a critical component in home energy management, especially in emergencies or off-grid living.

The exclusive badging on the Cybertruck Foundation Series and Cyberbeast
The exclusive badging on the Cybertruck Foundation Series and Cyberbeast

Also, there is a mention of Exclusive badges, which seems a little off-brand considering there are no logos or badging on the vehicle, as the Cybertruck doesn’t need it. Foundation Series trucks will have the words Foundation Series in a Cybertruck-typical font displayed on the vehicle’s fender. There will also be a special “badge” for Cyberbeast on the bottom right of the tailgate, which will three wolf-like heads joined together.

Community Response

The announcements has many enthusiasts expressing eagerness to configure their truck; however, others are understandably shocked at the price and are ready to wait for prices to fall in the future.

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