The top features in any Tesla

By Andrew Hansen

Tesla is as much of a software company as they are a car manufacturer. In a Tesla, you'll find some of the most exciting features in any car, ranging from video streaming like Netflix to live footage of your car while it's parked.

Below are some of the top features in almost every Tesla.

A look at Tesla Features
A look at Tesla Features

Autopilot

Tesla's Autopilot offers traffic-aware cruise control (TACC) and autosteer. With TACC Tesla vehicles will automatically speed up and slow down depending on how close the vehicle in front is.

The driver just sets the maximum speed and the following distance and the car will automatically control its speed and distance from other vehicles.

Autosteer is a combination of TACC and the ability for Teslas to remain in their lanes.

If you have standard Autopilot, then the vehicle will steer itself so that it remains in its lane. If you have the Full Self-Driving (FSD) option, then your vehicle will perform additional functions, such as change lanes, get off and on highway ramps, and respond to traffic lights and stop signs.

Tesla is testing additional functionality with their FSD Beta program in the US that allows the vehicle to drive itself on city streets with driver supervision. The vehicle can perform unprotected left turns, wait for other vehicles, go around stopped cars or pedestrians, and more. However, the feature is currently in its early stages and requires the driver to take over often.

Each Tesla is fitted with eight external cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a powerful onboard computer to provide an additional layer of safety to guide you on your journey.

Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is one of Tesla's most innovative features. It adds a unique layer of protection to the vehicles by continuously monitoring the environment around a car when it's left unattended.

When enabled, Sentry Mode enters a "standby" state, like a home alarm system. It uses the car's external cameras to detect potential threats. If it detects a minimal threat, such as someone leaning on the vehicle, Sentry Mode switches to an "alert" state. It'll flash the car's lights and displays a message on the touchscreen, warning bystanders that its cameras are recording.

When you return to the car, you'll be presented with recordings that had activity in them.

Sentry Mode is a great security feature and deterrent for prospective thieves. In addition, you can select if you want Sentry Mode to always be enabled or only enabled when you're not near certain locations like your home.

Dashcam

With the built-in Dashcam, there is no need to purchase a third-party solution. Instead, Tesla will constantly record from four different cameras around the vehicle while driving.

The videos are saved to a USB drive, making it easy to access them if needed. You can also view the videos directly in the vehicle.

Footage from the dashcam is automatically overridden after an hour unless you specifically choose to save it.

You can save the last ten minutes of footage by tapping the dashcam icon.

You can also have the car automatically save recordings for you if you're in an accident or when you honk the horn.

Connectivity

Connectivity is an essential part of all Tesla cars. There are two connection plans available. The first is the standard free plan that provides navigation, live traffic, the ability to connect to the car from your phone. Additional services are also available if you're connected to Wi-Fi or connected to your phone's hotspot.

The second plan available is Tesla's Premium Connectivity package. For $10 a month, you get access to a heap of features. These include live traffic visualizations, satellite-view maps, video streaming while in park (including Netflix, YouTube, etc), caraoke, music streaming (Spotify, Slacker, Tidal, and others), live camera access, and internet browsing.

Tesla Theater

Teslas come with a ton of entertainment options. They include video and audio streaming, games, easter eggs, and more.

Tesla vehicles are equipped with a video streaming that could be accessed while the vehicle is parked, or on a rear screen of a new Model S or Model X.

Video streaming includes Netflix, YouTube, and Twitch. Hulu, Disney Plus, and other subscription-based services are also available in some countries.

Tesla Theater is a great way to pass the time while charging on a long trip or while waiting for someone.

Music Streaming

There is also a variety of music streaming services available that you could use to listen to music while driving. They allow you to play any song through the use of playlists, searching, or even using your voice.

Tesla currently offers TuneIn, Slacker, Spotify, and TIDAL. FM radio is also available and the Model S and Model X also have SiriusXM.

Karaoke

Tesla's Caraoke feature
Tesla's Caraoke feature

There is a Tesla version of karaoke called Tesla Caraoke. You'll be able to play and sing some of the most popular karaoke songs right in your car. With Caraoke, song lyrics will appear directly on the screen without interfering with the critical information the driver needs to drive safely. In addition, song lyrics can be displayed either with or without any vocals. Unfortunately, it does not have a microphone or the ability to record your voice.

Games

There are many games built into a Tesla. They include games like Super Breakout, Cuphead, Sonic the Hedgehog, 2048, Fallout Shelter, and many more. Tesla even supports connecting a controller to the car to play some of the games.

Romance Mode

Teslas feature several easter eggs. One of them is Romance Mode; and while uou can't roast marshmallows by an open fire in your car, you can still cozy up with your loved ones by this virtual fireplace. While in Park, access Romance Mode from your Toybox and queue up the music.

Santa Mode

Tesla's Santa Mode can be entertaining during the holidays
Tesla's Santa Mode can be entertaining during the holidays

Santa Mode puts you in the Christmas spirit by transforming your on-screen visualizations into Christmas-inspired variants. Your vehicle transforms into Santa's sleigh, other cars become reindeer, and pedestrians become elves. There are a lot of little details added that make this one of the best Tesla easter eggs.

Car Wash Mode

Tesla's Car Wash Mode gives the status of several features
Tesla's Car Wash Mode gives the status of several features

Tesla has a Car Wash Mode that's in the service menu that makes taking your car to an automatic car wash easy. When this is activated, all the windows are closed, the charging port is locked, and the automatic windshield wipers, sentry mode alerts, walk-away door locks, and parking sensors are disabled.

Dog Mode

Tesla's Dog Mode maintains the cabin temperature while you're gone
Tesla's Dog Mode maintains the cabin temperature while you're gone

Tesla's Dog Mode keeps the car's air conditioner or heater on when the owner leaves their pet in the car.

This feature can be accessed through the car's climate control. Then, select "Dog" on the far-right side of the "Keep Climate On" settings by selecting the fan icon at the bottom of the 15-inch screen. As soon as you exit your Tesla, a message appears that states: "Don't worry! The heater [or air conditioner] is on, and it's XX degrees." The temperature stays where you set it for as long as you are away from the car, which is one of the benefits of having a giant battery onboard.

When the battery of the Tesla goes below 20 percent, and the owner is gone for an extended period, a push notification is sent to the owner's phone.

Valet Mode

With Valet Mode is activated, Tesla's operating system restricts the vehicle's functionality. The car's maximum speed is also limited to 70 mph, and its acceleration is reduced. Autopilot is also disabled while Valet Mode is activated.

However, that isn't all, as Valet Mode also locks the glove compartment and front trunk automatically. It also blocks certain kinds of personal information from being displayed on Tesla's display screen. For example, the "places" function is disabled, so the car owner's home address, contact information, and scheduled meetings will not appear on the screen.

Furthermore, while Valet Mode is engaged, Tesla's navigation function, Homelink access, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth settings are also disabled.

Tesla Phone App

The Tesla app is very well designed and has some great features. For example, you can sync your phone to the Tesla, allowing the phone to become your car key. The car will detect the phone and automatically unlock the doors as you approach the car. As you walk away from the vehicle, it will also lock all the doors.

Another great feature of the app is turning on the air-conditioner, so the car is nice and cool when you get into it. Those who live in cold or hot climates will know what a great feature this is.

Additionally, you can also view your vehicle's live camera feeds (not available in all countries) via the app, check on your car's location, contact Tesla service, install software updates, and much more.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

Tesla Model Y, the best selling EV in Q1, wins U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV'

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Kelley Blue Book

Tesla's Model Y has won U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV' award. U.S. News writes "Despite the onslaught of new competitors, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can buy at the moment," U.S. News added, “If you’re in the market, this is an option that’s well-worth a test drive.”

The Model Y was first delivered to owners in early 2020 and was the automaker’s second mass-market vehicle after the Model 3. The Model Y effectively expanded Tesla’s product line to include a new body style. Tesla’s Model Y has rapidly become the company's best-selling vehicle, despite being more expensive than the Model 3. This speaks to the prominence of the Model Y, dominating the widely-popular crossover SUV sector. 

Tesla's Model Y starts at $62,990, making it much more appealing to mass markets than the Model X which starts at $114,990. Tesla's Model X has been offered for seven years, but is still only produced for sentimental reasons, according to CEO Elon Musk.

U.S. News highlights that, while the Model Y offers less cargo and utility room than the Model X, it still includes many of the same tech features and comparable performance. A fully enhanced Model Y has a 0 to 60 MPH of just 3.5 seconds while still having over 300 miles of range and a 155 MPH top speed.

It's no surprise that the Model Y was the recipient of the U.S. News ‘Best Luxury Electric SUV’ award as it topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, U.S. EV sales were up 60% year-over-year, demonstrating the continued shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles.

Tesla had the top 3 best selling EVs

Tesla took first, second and third place with an impressive 52,051 registered units for the Model Y, and 47,682 registered units of the Model 3. These two models alone make up the bulk of the entire U.S. EV market. Tesla also achieved third place with 9,250 registrations of the Model S and seventh place is the Tesla Model X with 4,899 registrations. Tesla remains the leader in EV sales, consistently selling a number of vehicles unattainable to competitors.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

How to add more 'Quick Control' icons in the Tesla app

By Rene Pepin
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app

Tesla completely redesigned their app with version 4.0 last year. Since then Tesla has been quickly iterating on its features with updates and new features coming every few weeks.

With version 4.3 of the Tesla app, Tesla added the ability to customize the Quick Control buttons on the main screen.

You can add up to four buttons, but with this little trick, you can also add a fifth icon.

Add a Fifth Icon to the Tesla App

To add a fifth icon start by long-pressing the row of icons to bring up an editing screen to sort or replace those icons with the ones you use most frequently.

Now here is where the fun starts because it will take a little manual dexterity to add the additional icon but when you do it correctly your sense of accomplishment will out weight your initial frustration.

Here is the trick:

With your right thumb, pick up one of the available icons and drag it over the fourth icon (in the screen above it is the Front Trunk icon), but do not release it.

While keeping your right thumb held down, use your thumb on your left hand to press on the 1st icon (in the screen above it is the HVAC icon), and drag it to the second icon (the Defrost icon). The icon you have brought up will move offscreen to the right into the invisible fifth spot.

Release both fingers simultaneously and VIOLA a fifth icon will magically appear.

Have fun mixing and matching your icons as your needs change. You can update the icon bar as often as needed.

Video

Tesla used to allow users to continue to add an unlimited amount of icons, but it wasn't a great experience so the total number of icons is now limited to five.

Additional Tips

There are several other useful bits of information about the Tesla app that could make it more useful.

For example, you can tap the battery icon at the top of the screen to access charging information. This brings up the same information as tapping on the Charge Quick Control icon.

If you prefer tapping the battery icon, you can remove the Charge icon from the Quick Controls area, allowing you to free up a spot, essentially giving you an extra Quick Control slot.

Wake Up Your Vehicle Quicker

When using the app most commands are executed through the vehicle's internet connection, which requires your vehicle to be awake.

Waiting for your vehicle to wake up could sometimes take up to a minute, but there is a way to speed it up if you're within Bluetooth distance (around 30 feet).

Some commands are sent via Bluetooth, which allows them to be completed even if the vehicle is asleep. This includes locking and unlocking the doors.

When completing one of these commands, your Tesla starts to turn on almost immediately.

If you're waiting for your vehicle to turn on, you can send a command to lock/unlock your vehicle and your vehicle should wake up quicker than just waiting.

Widget

If you've added a fifth icon to your Quick Controls and use the Tesla app widget, then the widget will now display all five icons as well.

No Need to Wait

With the introduction of the Tesla app version 4.0 last year, Tesla quietly rolled out a feature that changes the way you use the app.

Previously, you needed to open the Tesla app, wait for your vehicle to wake up, and then you could send a command to the car, such as using turning on the climate system or using HomeLink.

However, now you can simply open the app, tap your desired function (it'll show a spinning circle) and you can quit the app.

Instead of the command going directly to your car, it will now be sent to Tesla. Tesla's servers will be the ones who wait for your vehicle to wake up, and when it does, Tesla will execute the command.

If for some reason Tesla isn't able to wake up your vehicle due to a poor connection or another error, then you'll receive a notification saying the command failed.

This makes turning on the HVAC system a much more enjoyable experience.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

Upcoming Release

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Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

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

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.