What is Tesla Premium Connectivity and What's included

By Nuno Cristovao

Tesla vehicles receive constant updates to improve functionality, add features, improve reliability and even add games. Teslas will also send you notifications on your phone when your car alarm goes off, if you left your car unlocked, or if the charge level is critically low.

Tesla's Premium Connectivity

What is Premium Connectivity?

All Teslas come standard with WiFi and cellular modems. When connecting to WiFi either through your home's network or through a hotspot, most features in your Tesla are free to use. However when utilizing your car's cellular connection some features are limited to Tesla's premium connectivity package.

Cost of Premium Connectivity?

Tesla's Premium Connectivity package currently costs $10/month per car in the US. Cars sold before June 30, 2018 include free premium connectivity.

As of February 2022, Tesla has also added a yearly plan for Premium Connectivity in the US. The price of the annual plan is $99/year. You can subscribe to the monthly or the yearly plan by using the Tesla app. In the Tesla app go to the Upgrades section and then tap Manage. If you currently subscribe to the monthly plan, you can also switch to yearly in this same section.

What is included for free, without Premium Connectivity?

The most important data features are included for free in your Tesla, such as phone notifications, software updates, updated navigation maps and even optimal navigation routing that takes live traffic into account.

What does Premium Connectivity include?

The features that require premium connectivity have mostly to do with entertainment while parked or driving. Keep in mind that all entertainment features are available to you if you're connected to WiFi or a hotspot.

Entertainment features that require premium connectivity include music streaming, such as Slacker and Spotify. It also includes video streaming services while parked such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube and a few others. Keep in mind that some of those services still require a subscription. For example, YouTube is available for free, but Netflix requires a paid subscription. Tesla's premium connectivity simply lets you use the car's data connection to stream those services.

Additional services included in Premium Connectivity are:

  • Internet browser - Browse the web to look up restaurants, destinations or other information. It can be used by the passenger while driving.
  • Caraoke - Tesla's version of Karaoke which features hundreds of songs and displays the lyrics on the screen.
  • Satellite view maps - This displays satellite imagery in your navigation instead of just the terrain view with streets.
  • Live traffic visualizations - Traffic visualizations will show you which roads are congested and where traffic jams are located.
Feature Included WiFi / Hotspot Premium
Phone Notifications
Ability to Use Tesla App
Live Traffic Visualization
Satellite-View Maps
Video Streaming
Music Streaming
Internet Browser
Sentry Mode Live

Can I share my phone's data (hotspot) with my Tesla?

Yes, with software update 2021.24 and later, you can now choose to share your phone's data connection with your Tesla. It'll get you access to most of the features included with premium connectivity such as music streaming, internet browsing and you'll be able to use all of them while driving.

However there are two features that aren't available without Tesla's premium connectivity, even if you're using your phone as a hotspot. They include the live traffic visualization and the satellite imagery in maps.

Those two features aren't included when on WiFi or using a hotspot because they cost Tesla more than just the data to get them to you. Google provides Tesla both of those features for a fee. Tesla is simply including those fees they pay Google in their premium connectivity package price. So Tesla decides to not provide these features unless you're paying for the premium package.

Find out more about the remain connected to WiFi while in drive.

Cybertruck to be waterproof and serve as a boat briefly, may also appear in Cyberpunk 2077

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game

Cybertruck deliveries will start next year, but if you can't wait that long, you may want to head for Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 has teased that the highly anticipated vehicle in the real world may appear in the popular video game. But, if that's not enough, Elon Musk announced another exciting and unique feature for the futuristic-looking truck - it will be waterproof.

Let's start with the floating Cybertruck, which should not be a shock to anyone following the Tesla CEO. He bought the Lotus Esprit that James Bond used to jump off a pier and transform into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the movie prop for just under $1 million in 2013 and told USA Today, "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

In 2016 he tweeted that the Model S "floats well enough to be a boat," but he did not recommend trying it. Now he has claimed the Cybertruck could be used as a boat — briefly. Musk tweeted: Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren't too choppy.

Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game

In a later tweet, he gave some idea of the distance he has in mind: Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.

Twitter user @Erdayastronaut shed some light on why Musk would be singling out that area and distance. The tweet reads: "One of SpaceX's biggest problems is attracting talent to work at Starbase, which is extremely remote. South Padre is an awesome place to live, but it's almost an hour drive to Starbase despite being only 5 miles from Starbase because of the shipping channel." A quick check of Google Maps demonstrates what the user is describing.

South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel

Musk's tweet also caught the attention of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Officials there seem to be a little concerned about the wording. The official account tweeted: Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that "serves briefly as a boat" should not be used as a boat.

CD Projekt RED also noticed Musk's tweet, and the makers of Cyberpunk used the opportunity to show two concepts of the Cybertruck as it would appear in Night City. Musk and Cyberpunk have had an ongoing relationship for a few years. Most recently, he demonstrated the power of the onboard computer's gaming system by playing Cyberpunk in a Tesla. However, CD Projekt RED did not mention if the Cybertruck in Cyberpunk would float.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable in the new Model S

Tesla hints at 'Reverse Summon' being available this year

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website'
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website

Tesla's team of Autopilot engineers is validating significant advancements to Full Self Driving Beta, including parking lot improvements. While Smart Summon and Reverse Summon were not specifically mentioned during the 3.5-hour AI Day 2022 event, parking lots were discussed, and Elon Musk gave a timeline of when enhancements are expected.

Reverse Summon or 'Park Seek' as Tesla appears to be calling it, is the opposite of Smart Summon. Whereas Smart Summon drives to you from a parking spot, users who activate Reverse Summon would have their Tesla drop them off at a location, perhaps closest to the entrance of a mall, and then find a parking spot. This feature was described by Musk on July 1, 2020, when he gave it a two to a four-month timeline.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s director of the Autopilot program, started the FSD portion of AI Day, saying, “FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on.”

Several team members described how FSD has advanced and soon will be an integrated stack, meaning one code base that includes everything the program needs to navigate the car in a parking lot or on a busy highway. Musk is currently using this new stack, “it works quite well for me, but we need to validate it in all kinds of weather, like heavy rain, snow, dust and make sure it is working better than the production stack across a wide range of environments.”

Paril Jain, the Manager of Autopilot Motion Planning, expanded on what else will be included in the integrated stack, “we do expect to also include the parking lot stack as a part of the FSD stack before the end of this year. So, that will basically bring us to you sitting in the car in the parking lot and drive till the end of the parking lot, at a parking spot, before the end of this year.”

It has been previously reported that Reverse Summon would have three different modes to find parking spots that the owner prefers. The methods would include closest to the entrance, nearby a cart return, and the end of the parking lot for those who like to avoid tight spots that cause door dings. Musk said that the integrated stack is on track for release before the end of the year and maybe as early as November.

Tesla has also updated it's website to reflect this news, although no timeframe is given. The Autopilot section of Tesla's site now has a section titled "To your Destination." The description reads "When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you."

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.