New Model S UI Coming to All Teslas, possibly v11

By Nuno Cristovao

On June 10th Tesla showed off the new Model S Plaid and it’s completely redesigned interface. The new UI contains many new features and enhancements, such the ability to customize the buttons at the bottom of the screen so that you can have your most used apps easily accessible. It also includes the ability to drag and drop apps between the left side and right side of the screen. A new mini player also makes music controls always easily accessible. You can read about all the new features in the new UI, which we covered last month.

New 2021 Model S UI

Since the day of the event, everyone has wanted to know whether this new UI would be carried over to previous cars, since the cars' displays differ quite a bit. Previous Model S and X vehicles contain vertical displays, and the Model 3 and Model Y do not contain an instrument cluster, so people started to wonder whether Tesla would be able to adapt the new UI for these other dimensions.

Elon took to Twitter and confirmed that a new UI will indeed be coming to all Teslas. We anticipate that this new UI will be similar to the UI in the new Model S, although Elon was not specific on Twitter. Elon simply said that an “updated UI coming with FSD wide release,” which doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same as the UI in the new Model S. However, Tesla has never had different UIs for different vehicles in the past. Even when they overhauled the UI various times in the past, the changes always trickled down to older vehicles as well.

It’s clear however that the UI needs some big changes before it can work on older vehicles. We may see some features dropped or changed. For example, on the Model 3 and Model Y, the left side of the screen is used for car visualizations and takes up a significant amount of the screen. Tesla could allow stacking of apps on the right side or the cars may be limited to a single app at a time.

In December of last year, Elon said that we will have multiple display options, so that feature may be included in this update.

Although we may not be able to hide the car visualizations completely, we may be able to choose how big or small they are on the screen. It would be great to see an option where the car visualizations are hidden completely and we merely keep a small window with the important information, such as current speed, speed limit and Autopilot details.

As for the vertical screened Model S and Model X, it’s possible Tesla may just stack the apps vertically instead of horizontally and the rest of the layout would remain largely unchanged since those cars include an instrument cluster.

Elon mentions that the new UI will come with the FSD wide release, which honestly we don’t know when that’s coming. However Elon has said recently that he expects FSD to be ready “soon.” It’s been pushed back several times since we first expected it in April, but it looks like Tesla may be getting close. We expect the FSD beta to be limited to beta testers initially, but hopefully it won’t have to wait too long after that.

The other tidbit Elon teases is that the new UI will include the “mind of the car” view. We covered this before and in short, we expect this to be new and improved car visualizations. As Tesla gets better at understanding and interpreting the world around us, the car visualizations also improve and we think this will be a major step forward in what we see on the screen.

We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but it’s exciting to hear that a new UI will be coming soon and new car visualizations will be coming soon.

Update: Tesla delivered v11 with an updated UI based off of the new Model S in the 2021 Holiday Update.

Why Tesla Doesn't Need a Public Relations Department

By Kevin Armstrong
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Tesla

Tesla is a regular in the news cycle; if it's not about the vehicle, it's about the CEO. It's no secret Tesla stock is down, and investors who are long on the stock have lost a considerable amount over the past month. One of those investors is Gary Black, the Future Fund managing partner, who said in August that Tesla is the fund's largest position. Black is calling on Tesla to hire a public relations department to inform the media and the public of the positives around the brand.

Oddly enough, at the shareholders' event in August, Black said, "the thing we worry about most is not PR; it's succession." Now it seems that is what Black is worried about. He recently tweeted: People can't complain about the media if TSLA refuses to correct articles that are wrong, or worse, won't maintain relationships with TSLA beat reporters and editors so they can get TSLA's POV out when needed. Strong PR will be needed to sell FSD safety. Think long-term.

Black's stance may be understandable to some, especially those who have watched their trading account shrink, but it's implausible because Tesla doesn't need a PR department.

Musk and the Mainstream Media Don't Mix

Musk is currently using his new company to hold mainstream media accountable. In case you missed it, he's releasing the Twitter Files, a detailed report backed up with real emails to show suppression of true stories.

The Tesla CEO also regularly calls out media outlets for false stories, misleading headlines and biased reporting. Musk will not hire a team to try to steer newsrooms, something he has so little respect for, and it's unlikely legacy media outlets will listen.

Media Biased Against Tesla

Bad news generates more views and clicks and keeps the advertisers paying. Even when the news isn't bad, take, for example, a recent Reliability Report by Consumer Reports. Most, if not all, mainstream media declared Tesla as the terrible one, even though Tesla moved up four spots from the previous year. It was hard to find a mention of the manufacturers that scored less. Those included Chevrolet, GMC, Volkswagen, Jeep, and Mercedes Benz. Yes, the expensive luxury brand was dead last in reliability. That is a story.

Reporters also picked up that electric vehicles scored low for reliability. Consumer Reports said it was because EVs are new on the market. However, scoring even lower were full-sized pickups. Those have been on the market for quite a bit longer.

Tesla, which also has not spent a dime on advertising, disbanded its public relations department in 2020. That's unheard of by a company its size, especially in the automotive sector. However, Tesla and Elon have something much better — you are reading it right now. Not a Tesla App is one of several blog sites that publish news about Tesla daily. Many of these websites have writers who own Teslas. The stories are much more accurate, positive and just plain better than anything readers will find in the mainstream. Who says bias must be negative?

Word of Mouth Advertising

Now add hundreds, maybe even thousands of loyal enthusiasts who defend and promote Tesla on social media platforms. Next, throw into the mix the hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners who quite often are spokespeople for the company whenever they get out of the car. I've been sure to add 10 minutes of travel time to my drives because I'm likely to get asked some questions at the grocery store or car wash.

This kind of advertising money cannot buy, and it's the kind of positive publicity media will not share. So while Black's concerns are legitimate, a PR department is not the solution. Instead, Tesla needs to keep doing what it's been doing and let the product, its fans and the Tesla-inspired websites do the rest.

More About Tesla’s WiFi Garage Door Support, Its Cost and Features

By Nuno Cristovao
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
MyQ

Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.

Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.

Vehicles Supported

MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.

Cost

Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.

The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.

Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.

However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.

Integration

The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.

On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.

On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.

You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.

If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.

The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.

The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.

MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.

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