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Speculation has surrounded Tesla’s upcoming 2023 Holiday Update, as revealed by cybersecurity enthusiasts on X (previously known as Twitter). These tech-savvy individuals disclosed features reminiscent of Waze in the anticipated OTA software revamp.

In keeping with tradition, Tesla’s festive software updates are known for their surprise elements. The current year’s release is no exception, boasting a confirmed dozen updates designed to delight Elon Musk’s electric vehicle enthusiasts.

While the absence of real-time routing features like “avoid construction on route” may disappoint some, Tesla owners can still enjoy quirky additions, such as making their vehicle emit a goat-like sound upon locking. Let’s explore the entirety of these 12 updates tailored for Tesla’s EVs, acknowledging that certain features might be model-specific.

1. Personalized Lock Sounds

Incorporated into the latest update is the option to select a unique sound for locking your vehicle—provided your vehicle boasts an external speaker, as not all do.

Are you tired of the usual “beep, beep”? Tesla introduces unconventional choices such as an old-school horn, applause, and even the amusing scream of a goat. It might bring a chuckle initially, but subsequent occurrences could lead to profound embarrassment. Yet again, this is the same vehicle that lets you simulate flatulence; what more can you anticipate?

2. Enhanced Arcade Features

Tesla’s in-car Arcade experiences significant enhancements, claiming the throne as the ultimate gaming haven in any vehicle.

The update unveils new vehicles and tracks in Beach Buggy Racing, while Polytopia and Vampire Survivors introduce fresh modes. Additionally, PS4, PS5, and Xbox controllers now offer a rumble effect when connected via Bluetooth.

3. Backseat Entertainment

Vehicles equipped with a rear screen can now extend the gaming experience to the rear passengers using Tesla Arcade.

As Tesla’s post on X, formerly Twitter boldly declares: “LAN Party on Wheels,” it suggests multiplayer functionality. Front-seat occupants can engage in a battle against the zombie apocalypse with those seated in the back—a unique way to pass the time during a journey (apologies).

4. Quieting Distractions for Parents

In a thoughtful move, Tesla ensures rear passengers with rear screens can now enjoy shows or games using wireless Bluetooth headphones.

This is a game-changer for parents who can now escape the blaring soundtracks of whatever the display was previously streaming—probably Blippi.

5. Seamless Apple Podcasts Integration

Tesla’s infotainment now seamlessly hosts the Apple Podcasts app, allowing users to pick up right where they left off on any Apple device.

6. Enhanced Navigation Features

Tesla introduces ‘Waze-like’ features, displaying speed cameras and red lights on the in-car navigation route.

Interestingly, the graphics chosen resemble those from Waze. However, whether this update includes mobile speed cameras or only fixed ones, and the regions it will cover remain unconfirmed.

7. Smartphone Trip-Planning

Surprisingly, Tesla now allows users to plan routes within a smartphone app and send them directly to the vehicle’s infotainment screen—an overdue feature, considering many legacy carmakers already provide this functionality.

8. Automatic 911 Connectivity

While seemingly tailored for North America, the update automatically connects Tesla owners to emergency services if an accident triggers the airbags.

9. Sentry Mode Expansion

Sentry Mode, streaming footage when the vehicle is parked, now includes access to the left and right pillar cameras, expanding coverage to seven angles.

10. Hi-Fi Park Assist

Post-update, Tesla’s Park Assist generates a 3D model of the vehicle’s surroundings, simplifying parking in crowded environments.

11. Programmable Light Shows

Tesla remains unique, allowing users to program a custom light show uploaded onto a USB drive, making the car flash its headlights, taillights, and indicators rhythmically.

The update introduces a pre-programmed light show synchronized with “The Arrival” by Irving Victoria—just because.

12. Charging Location Filters

Searching for Supercharger stations becomes more straightforward with the ability to filter between two charging speeds.

Locations with speeds of 70kW or more are denoted by three lightning bolts, while those with 70kW or less sport a single lightning bolt.

Analysis: Tesla’s Unrivaled Software Prowess

Tesla stands as the unrivaled leader in software updates, overshadowing critiques of its vehicles and CEO behavior. OTA updates consistently outpace traditional automakers, seamlessly integrating fun and practical features.

The forthcoming Holiday Update promises enhancements, making older Teslas more user-friendly. Our earlier mention of 12 updates is just the tip of the iceberg. Additional features include an automatic blind spot camera, shuffle play in Tidal, and a searchable digital owner’s manual.

While these may seem minor, they mark a stark contrast to competitors like VW and Ford. Tesla’s monthly updates far surpass the sluggish software evolution of VW’s five-year-old ID series, stuck on version 3.0. The discrepancy highlights Tesla’s commitment to continuous improvement.

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