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


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.


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 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.


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.


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.

There is also a Camp Mode that keeps the main display on, USB ports powered and the climate on.

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.

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Uber Now Uses Tesla API Data To Show a Range-Based Trip Planner

By Kevin Armstrong
Uber now has access to Tesla vehicle data that allows it to limit trips within range
Uber now has access to Tesla vehicle data that allows it to limit trips within range

In a monumental move towards the future of ridesharing, Tesla and Uber have unveiled a new feature — a range-based trip planner. This integration allows Tesla drivers to connect their vehicles to the Uber app and schedule rides based on the remaining battery charge of their electric vehicles. This innovation is set to redefine the experience of both drivers and passengers in the ridesharing space.

Bridging Tesla and Uber: The New Age of Ridesharing

First observed by Tesla enthusiast and former Uber driver Sofiaan, this range-based planner enables Tesla owners to accept rides in the Uber app based on their vehicle's current charge. The feature is activated only when users permit it, and once enabled, it assigns rides that can be comfortably completed with the existing battery level, leaving a small buffer to reach a Supercharger.

While introducing this feature marks an exciting leap in integrating electric vehicles into the ridesharing world, it has raised some eyebrows over privacy and data concerns. The new feature requires drivers to allow Uber access to their vehicle's data through the Tesla API. While it may cause some apprehension, this innovation is a significant aid for drivers who may be unsure about their Tesla's range or those experiencing range anxiety.

The Driver's Perspective: The Challenge of Balancing Charge and Availability

Driving for Uber or Lyft with an EV can be challenging. Rideshare drivers need to balance the need to recharge their vehicles with the necessity to remain available for passenger pick-ups. This new range-based planner alleviates some of this stress by intelligently allocating rides based on the remaining battery life. Such a feature could be particularly advantageous for those operating in areas with limited fast-charging infrastructure.

This range-based planner promises to improve the rideshare experience for Tesla drivers. With it, drivers will only be offered rides they can complete with their existing charge. This eliminates the dilemma of declining rides due to insufficient battery life, which could result in a penalty from Uber.

Ridesharing and the Future of Autonomous Vehicles

As we look toward the future, this development prompts larger questions about the ridesharing landscape and the advent of autonomous vehicles. Companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lyft, along with emerging players such as Waymo, Cruise, and Ford's new autonomy division, continue to innovate and compete. With the ongoing shifts towards electric and autonomous vehicles, these new technologies and collaborations will play an essential role in shaping the future of transportation.

This initiative by Tesla and Uber is a vital step toward integrating electric vehicles into the mainstream. As we anticipate the further transformation of ridesharing services, one thing remains clear — the ride toward green transportation is accelerating, and Tesla and Uber are at the forefront of this revolution.

An Early Look at Tesla's 2023.20 Update and Its Features

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20

Preparations are underway for Tesla's next software update, version 2023.20. Although currently in testing, this update has been drawing attention since it was first noticed last week. Considering Tesla's 2023.12 update brought numerous new features, it appears this next may be smaller. However, we now have our first look at some of the features included in Tesla's 2023.20 update.

Ability to Track Tire Mileage

A noteworthy improvement under the upcoming update pertains to tire service tracking. Post-update, vehicle owners can track how many miles have been driven since their last tire service. This feature can prove valuable for monitoring mileage since your last tire rotation, changing to new tires, or switching between season-specific tires.

You or your service center will need to manually reset the counter each time your tires are serviced. You can view the mileage traveled or reset your counter by navigating to Controls > Service.

The official release notes state:

Go to Controls > Service to see how many miles it's been since your last tire service.

When you get your tires rotated, replaced, or swapped, tap 'Reset' to reset the counter.

Furthering Global Reach: Text Size Adjustment

Another feature gaining more ground is text size adjustment. While 'Text Size' was introduced in the 2023.12 update, the ability to adjust the size of the text in the vehicle's UI was limited to select languages. The feature has now been extended to all languages supported by Tesla. This expansion affirms Tesla's commitment to accessibility for its global user base, ensuring a seamless experience across different regions and languages.

While the Text Size feature in update 2023.12 only applied to the Model 3 and Model Y, it's not clear whether update 2023.20 also introduces the feature to the Model S and Model X. Based on Tesla's feature release history, this feature will likely apply to at least the redesigned Model S and Model X in the futre, but it's not immediately clear whether that is happening with this update.

The release notes for 2023.20 state:

Large text size feature is now available in all supported languages.

To update your settings, go to Controls > Display > Text Size.

Release Date

Although Tesla does not provide release dates for upcoming software updates, we may see update 2023.20 start rolling out in the next week or two. This timing can change if Tesla uncovers issues that need to be addressed before a public release.

2023.12 Update: A Look Back

As we anticipate the rollout of 2023.20, it's worth reflecting on the last major update - 2023.12.1. This update significantly enriched Tesla's features, particularly for Model 3 and Model Y. One standout was steering wheel customization. A long press on the left scroll button revealed a host of adjustable settings and functions.

Moreover, introducing the new search function facilitated more accessible access to controls and settings, along with points of interest that included photos and reviews. The ability to adjust wipers using the steering wheel scroll wheel emerged as a valuable, undocumented feature.

Perhaps one of the most user-friendly updates was the option of Standard or Large text sizes for the touchscreen display, which now applies to all languages under the 2023.20 update.

Other improvements included optional gear chimes for Model 3/Y, the transition of Tesla's Spotify player to a web-based format, enhanced phone call controls, and vision-based speed assist feature expansion. Tesla also broadened Zoom availability to more countries, added writing support for legacy Model S and Model X in China, and continued to make user interface enhancements.

While this is an early look at the upcoming features update 2023.20, it provides a glimpse into Tesla's continuing pursuit of improving user experience and convenience. There may be additional features in this update that are not listed here since not all Tesla features are available for every vehicle or region.

As we wait for the public release, it's evident that Tesla continues to push boundaries in its software development, setting high standards in the electric vehicle market.

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

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

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


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