Tesla will add new features in coming weeks as the holiday season approaches, Elon Musk confirmed in a response to Australian Tesla owner “Dr Sally” on Twitter on Tuesday.
Historically, the Californian EV maker rolls out a significant software upgrade towards the end of each year and it would appear that 2021 will be no different.
Asked whether there is any “any info on the Tesla holiday update for this year?” Musk replied, “Coming soon. Lot of cool stuff.”
Coming soon. Lot of cool stuff.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 6, 2021
What exactly that cool stuff will be, however, is a mystery.
As noted by the Not a Tesla App website, which tracks feature releases and promises, 2020’s holiday update was split into two, and the first included the addition of three games – Cat Quest, The Battle of Polytopia and Solitaire – as well as a refreshed user interface with larger car visualisations. It also moved the wiper and rear camera buttons to the main navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
Another update on December 25 included the “Boombox” feature, which unfortunately didn’t apply to Australia because with no pedestrian alert laws yet in place locally, Tesla is not required to install an external speaker.
Updates that may show up in the 2021 holiday update according to a list of possible upcoming features compiled by Not a Tesla App include “Share Car”, “Vehicle Sync”, as well as improvements to parking chimes, passenger seat presets, face recognition and auto shift.
Share Car would allow drivers to add another driver to their car for a limited time period, whereas Vehicle Sync would allow Tesla owners to sync preferences across vehicles if for example they owned more than one, or were switching cars. Much like when you get a new smartphone and sync your settings to the old phone.
Improved parking chimes is meant to make the sound alerts louder on the side where a possible obstruction, such as a bollard, is. This would allow aural as well as visual communication about the location of a possible object.
Auto shift, which automatically sets which gear the car is in when you get in to leave a car park, is already active on the Tesla Model S and Model X, but will apparently be added to the Model 3 and Model Y at some point.
Passenger seat preset is pretty self-explanatory, but the addition of face recognition is interesting because although it will reportedly be used to automatically set driver profiles and preferences upon getting into the car (eg moving the seat to the chosen position of that driver), it also has the potential for other uses – such as turning the car off if someone other than an approved driver tries to get behind the steering wheel.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.