If you own a Tesla and follow Elon Musk on Twitter, chances are, you’ve been eagerly awaiting the latest software release from Tesla. As I wrote yesterday, this holiday update is not V11, instead, the build number is 2020.48.26 and V11 will arrive sometime in 2021.
This morning users online (mostly from America) started to report that they were receiving a Christmas Day present (US time) of the holiday update for their cars.
The new update includes:
New driving visualisation UI
As we’ve seen for a couple of months now from FSD beta users, the updated visualisation of your vehicle on the display, now shows the vehicle in high resolution, positioned at a 3/4 angle and that driving panel now takes up a larger percentage of the screen.
With a 60/40 split of the horizontal real estate, it means just 60% is left for the remaining interface like maps, music, settings etc. The idea here is that the 40% allocated to driving, is able to show you more of the environment around the car.
As we get closer to FSD being a reality, the car will do more of the work of driving, so there’ll be much less need for the driver to review the navigation route, at least not as often, so those pixels can be put to better use.
The 3D vehicle representation is not just eye candy, it now shows real-time information, like when windows are up or down, if the charging port or doors are open, and even if the wheels are turned. This is Tesla showing off their ability to connect their vast array of hardware sensors, and integrating them into an easy-to-understand user interface for the driver and occupants.
In the US, or LHD markets, the driving visualisation pane is on the left, while Australian or other RHD markets, the driving visualisation pane is on the right, closest to the driver.
When driving, you’ll also notice a reconfiguration of the current speed, detected speed limit and Autopilot availability (wheel icon) have all moved, but look to be better positioned that before. There’s a bunch of other small tweaks to positioning of icons like lights, turning indicators, high beams etc, all of which are fairly logical.
Other updates to the UI include changes to the icons we see run across the bottom of the display. The vehicle controls, music, reversing cameras, windscreen wipers and more apps, all get allocated buttons under the new driving visualisation pane, horizontally in-line with climate control window heading / demisting options and volume control. The whole bottom row looks much more uniform and addresses some convenience issues from user feedback.
Accessing your driving history, tyre pressure monitoring etc, remains just a swipe away, indicated by the three dots at the bottom of the diving pane.
Release notes update
Previously the release notes for a new Tesla update were like a standard webpage, a scrolling list of content that listed item after item. Now Tesla are moving to a new interface for updates with this release. Each item can be selected, when then displays detailed information about what’s included in that new or updated aspect of the car.
As Tesla’s software gets more sophisticated, this makes lots of sense, as additional room can now be used to detail specific, more complicated features and include multiple screenshots to explain how a feature works, almost like their digital manual.
All items in the list are presented in a consistent font and format, making the overall look fit well with the grey, black, white restrained UI.
Certainly the most controversial feature is one call Boombox. For those Tesla vehicles who shipped with a noise-making pedestrian speaker mounted under the front of the car, you can customise the sounds played from the speaker and even modify the sound for your horn.
The release notes for the feature say:
Turn your car into boombox and entertain a crowd with your media player when parked. You can also customize the sound your car makes when you press the horn, drive the car, or when your car is moving with Summon. Select an option from the dropdown m