Tesla releases 2021 holiday software update, adds features like auto blind spot camera and TikTok

Tesla has been doing holiday software updates to its vehicles’ software for a while now, and the word on the street (according to a Reddit post Monday) is that the 2021 edition is already going out to customers. So, what’s in the update? There are a few quality-of-life improvements and some of Tesla’s usual gimmicky nonsense, as you might expect. 

We’ll start with the good stuff first. Tesla’s in-car UI gets a customizable app launcher. This allows you to drag and drop your favorite applications to the bottom of the UI for easy access. Next is a simplification of the most used controls on the screen. This gives you a more prominent set of icons for stuff like wipers, navigation and media so you don’t have to tap around quite so much while driving. 

Our favorite change is the automatic blind spot camera. This shows a camera feed of your blind spot when you activate a turn signal. This feature has been around on higher-end Kias, Hyundais and Genesis models for a while now and it’s super helpful. Tesla will also now allow you to easily reorder your waypoints in navigation or add more waypoints along a journey, and it will automatically calculate arrival times. Useful for food delivery drivers, for example. 

The list of new or tweaked Tesla features is pretty long, actually.


Rob Maurer (@teslapodcast) via Twitter

Another potentially valuable feature is a preconditioning mode for the cabin, so you can cool down or warm up your Tesla’s cabin up before you get in, as well as automatically regulating seat heaters that change temperature based on your cabin temp settings. Lastly, there’s a new dark mode for the vehicle UI, which is kinda cool, if not exactly a game-changer. 

In terms of the less serious, goofier stuff, Tesla has added TikTok to the vehicles’ apps so you can watch TikToks while you’re parked. It also added a light show feature that will make various lights flash around the vehicle in time with music. There are also some additions to the Tesla arcade, most notably the addition of Sonic the Hedgehog to its Arcade service, as well as Sudoku and multiplayer support for The Battle of Polytopia.

The update should be rolling out to your Tesla anytime now, and we’re curious what you think of the new and tweaked features. Let us know in the comments!


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