Tesla Latest Software Updates: More Power, Automatic Navigation, Schedule Departure, and More!

by Jack

One of Tesla’s many benefits is their ability to continuously update their vehicles through over-the-air software updates. They constantly improve their vehicles safety and add owner requested features making your car feel new again with each and every update. Here are just some of the latest Tesla software updates to come from the manufacturer.

Latest Tesla Software Update

The current, most recent update is 2019.36.2.1, but don’t start to worry if you are behind. Tesla rolls out their updates in small batches. You can use TeslaFi to track current firmware progress and check out what percent of the Tesla owners fleet are on which firmware version.

At this point, Teslafi is a necessary tool for Tesla owners if you want to truly stay up to date with your car. When registered, you can track everything about your vehicle such as range loss, electricity savings, software updates, and charging data. It provides more statistics than you know what do with. You can check out their full list of features on their about page. Teslafi uses data from those registered to give us a better understanding of Tesla’s overall fleet. The service is well worth it if you’re a data nerd like us and if you want to know if you are truly getting the most out of your battery. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Teslafi has a leaderboard tracking the longest ranges achieved on a single charge. If you’d like a month long free trial you can use our referral code, EVBite.

The latest Tesla software update is usually reserved for those in the early access program. Those who purchased the FSD package prior to March 2019 are in the early access program. There was also an opportunity to enter the program through gaining a certain amount of referrals but that option is now gone.

Not all vehicles get all the new features. Your features will be dependent on your MCU, Autopilot version, and your countries regulations. We are currently on Autopilot 2.5 with MCU 3. Any car built after March 2018 should receive all new and present features that aren’t region specific. MCU 3 is just now being rolled out but we expect months to go by before we see any MCU 3 specific updates.

Check out the latest Tesla software update mega-thread on Reddit for some discussions with other owners.

Stopping Mode

Tesla has added another option for your stopping mode. This new option is one brings us one step closer to one-pedal driving by allowing the regenerative braking to continue below 5 mph, allowing you to not have to touch the brake pedal at all.

Along with the previously-available CREEP and ROLL (the previous vehicle behavior if CREEP was disabled) settings, a new setting called HOLD is available as a Stopping Mode selection. When HOLD is selected, your vehicle continues to use regenerative braking after decelerating to a low speed, and applies Vehicle Hold after coming to a complete stop. The HOLD setting maximizes range and reduces brake wear by continuing to provide regenerative braking at speeds lower than approximately 5 mph (8 km/h). See Owner’s Manual for more information.

To change your Stopping Mode setting, tap Controls > Driving > Stopping Mode while in PARK.

First Noticed 2019.36.1 (November 2019)

Driving Visualization Improvements

The driving visualization continues to get improvements as Tesla tries to make their cars full self-driving capable. With this iteration your Tesla will be able to identify traffic cones on the road and, if you are using Navigate on Autopilot it will react to the cones and change lanes.

The driving visualization now displays traffic cones, in cases where a traffic cone is detected and Navigate on Autopilot is engaged (requires Full Self Driving Capability), the vehicle is designed to suggest a lane change (or attempt a lane change if REQUIRE LANE CHANGE CONFIRMATION is set to NO) to avoid cones. As always, you are responsible for your vehicle and are required to pay attention at all times.

Applies to vehicles with the FSD Computer installed.

First Noticed 2019.36.1 (November 2019)

Automatic Navigation

Automatic Navigation is another small quality of life feature that will automatically navigate to your house or work during the appropriate times of the day or other addresses that are connected to calendar events.

Automatic Navigation starts a route to a likely destination when you get in your car. Automatic Navigation routes you to locations associated with upcoming calendar events, to Work when leaving Home in the morning (Monday through Friday) and Home when leaving Work in the afternoon or evening (Monday through Friday).

To adjust Automatic Navigation, tap Controls > Navigation > Automatic Navigation. To set your work and home addresses, tap Navigate then tap Home or work and enter the address as necessary, then tap Save.

First Noticed 2019.36.1 (November 2019)

Scheduled Departure

Scheduled Departure is a neat feature for those looking to save some money while charging their Tesla at home. Just set what time you plan to leave your house and your Tesla will adjust itself to try and charge fully during non-peak hours, saving you some money in the process. Additionally it will automatically set the climate control and if you live in a spot with harsh winters, it will precondition your car as well, making sure that you have as much performance as possible before driving out into the cold weather.

It’s now easier to have your car comfortable and ready to drive with Schedule Departure. For any location (e.g. Home), plug in your car and select a time for when you want your car to be ready to drive. Once your specified time is set, the car will schedule charging to complete before peak electricity rates begin (6AM) to reduce energy costs and ensure consistent regenerative braking and performance. It also automatically starts climate control so the cabin is comfortable at the set departure time.

To enable Scheduled Departure for the current location, go to Charging > Schedule. Then select DEPART AT and set the departure time, choosing whether you’d like Scheduled Departure to apply ALL WEEK or only on the WEEKDAYS. If ALL WEEK is selected, you have the option to “Precondition Cabin on Weekdays Only” by selecting the checkbox.

Note: Scheduled Departure will not precondition your car if it has less than 20% battery remaining. This feature improves and replaces the setting previous called Smart Preconditioning.

First Noticed 2019.36.1 (November 2019)

Power Increase

The fine folks over at Tesla have done some tweaking with the software and have given everyone a small boost to their power and acceleration. But a boost nonetheless. FREE POWER!

Your car’s power has been increased by approximately 5%, improving acceleration and performance.

First Noticed 2019.36.1 (November 2019)

Smart Summon

It finally happened, almost a year after Elon Musk stated that Smart Summon was about six weeks out, it has released a wide-release. For those that are still unfamiliar with what Smart Summon does, it allows you to place a marker within a certain radius of your parked Tesla (about 150 ft. radius) and the Tesla will autonomously drive itself there. This is Tesla’s first major step into proving that full self-driving can be a possibility.

Smart Summon is designed to allow your car to drive to you (using your phone’s GPS as a target destination) or a location of your choosing, maneuvering around and stopping for objects as necessary. Like Summon, Smart Summon is only intended for use in private parking lots and driveways. You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and it’s surroundings at all times within your line of sight because it may not detect all obstacles. Be especially careful around quick moving people, bicycles, and cars

To access the feature in your Tesla Mobile app, tap Summon then tap the Smart Summon icon. To activate Smart Summon, press and hold the “COME TO ME” button. Alternatively, tap the target icon, set the destination of your choice by adjusting the map, and then press and hold “GO TO TARGET” button. You can stop your car from driving at any time by releasing the button.

To reduce the time it takes for Smart Summon to warm up, you can keep your car ready by enabling Summon Standby Mode by going to Controls > Autopilot > STANDBY MODE. If selected ON, you can exclude Home, Work, and/or your Favorite places by selected the checkboxes. If a location is selected, Standby Mode will be disabled when your car is parked near those locations.

Additionally, Smart Summon also integrates with HomeLink and can, for example, open your garage door and drive your car out of your garage at the press of a button. Like Summon, Smart Summon is only intended for use in private parking lots and driveways. You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and its surroundings at all times within your line of sight.

The last part was bolded by me to emphasize that the feature is meant for private roads, but you just know that people will try their luck on public roads.


Yes, you are reading that right, Tesla has finally added in Spotify support to their models. Go ahead and listen to all your playlists to your heart’s content. The service does require Spotify Premium and does not replace Slack or Tunein

Application Launcher Reorder

Given the increase in features, there is a slight reorder in the application launcher. On change is Tesla Arcade is now known as Tesla Entertainment which now holds both the Tesla Arcade and Tesla Theater.

Software Update Improvements

For the stat geeks out there, Tesla will now tell you the exact software version number that you are receiving during an update. Additionally you will be able to track the install progress while the touchscreen is on.

Joe Mode

Another minor feature, but one that will be helpful to those riding with small children. Joe Mode will lower the volume of the Tesla’s chimes to a level that will still be able to effectively alert the driver, but won’t disturb passengers, such as children who are sleeping.

Coming Soon (V10):Sentry Mode Improvements

Sentry Mode clips will now be saved in a separate folder to make them more easy to manage. Additionally, older clips will now be deleted if there is not enough space on the USB for new clips and 5GB of space have already been used. For those that might still be having trouble with Sentry Mode in the cars, we wrote up a guide to help you out.

General Map Improvements

Tesla wrote that:

We have improved maps to make it easier to find and navigate to where you want to go. When searching for a destination, the autocomplete search now includes the distance to each suggested place. Also, you can now directly tap the labels on the map to quickly view the associated place details and navigate to that destination.

It’s a minor feature in the grand scheme of things, but probably one of the most useful things the Tesla has added.

Feeling Lucky/Feeling Hungry

Don’t know where to go eat today or don’t know what you wanna do today? Tesla has you covered with this new feature. Just go to Navigate>Hungry and you will be directed to a random place to eat. If you go to Navigate>Lucky to be directed to a random attraction. Finally, you will be able to deal with the dreaded, “I don’t know, where do you want to go eat?”.

Improved Automatic Lane Change Visualization

Another specific change made to the driving visualization was made in regards to the automatic lane change. The visualization will now highlight the lane in which the Tesla is planning to merge into with a faint white outline of where the car plans to be when it finishes the lane change. You can find a short video of the feature in action down below.

New Driving Visualization

Tesla has added additional types of objects and lane lines around your car in more environments. So a general overall improvement on the visualization. Additionally, you can now zoom and rotate the visualization to change the angle temporary. The use case for this is left to be seen, but you can find a short video down below demonstrating the feature.


Another fun feature coming to Teslas will be car karaoke. It’s noted that while you will be able to sing aloud while the car is driving, the lyrics to the song of choice will not be displayed as to not serve as a distraction. Unfortunately, that means that passengers will just have to deal with the inconvenience while on a road trip and pick a song that they truly know top to bottom.


Tesla announced the addition of popular game, Cuphead, earlier this year and we now have a timeline, August. This is set to be a shorter version of the game made just for Tesla. According to Elon Musk, the game will run at high res at 60 FPS. Beach Buggy, the other Tesla game recently released, is only available for MCU2 and we imagine this will be no different.

Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu (Tesla Theater)

Streaming capabilities are in the works and coming soon. Elon Musk mentioned a timeline of August with no later than a couple months. Once Tesla has full self-driving regulatory approval, you will be able to drive while watching TV. For now, this will only work while in park which just makes charging that much more convenient. If we had to guess, this will be an MCU2 exclusive feature.

Currently, Early Access Users are able to use these features via the mobile network rather than having to rely on being close to WiFi hotspots. This is probably being done due to the limited number of people withing the Early Access Program and will probably be made to work with only WiFi once the feature is rolled out to everyone.

Improved Driving Dynamics

Once again, this is an update for the most recent Raven motor equipped Model S/X. Tesla has stated that they have improved the driving dynamics while under hard acceleration. Upon the announcement of the Raven models, Tesla did state that aside from the increase in range, there would be an increase in the power and torque as well. This update seems to be addressing the increase to both the power and torque.

Software Update Notification

Your Tesla will now indicate when there is a software update ready to be downloaded in your status bar.

Key Fob Security Update

An update for Model S Key Fob (v2) was pushed out to patch any sort of bugs or potential security issues.

Norwegian Language Support

For all the Norwegian Tesla owners our there, rejoice as Tesla has finally added the Norwegian language as an option for the interface. To update your language setting, tap Controls > Display

Adaptive Suspension Damping Improvements

This update will only be applicable to folks who have bought the newest iteration of the Model S or Model X that feature the Raven motor along with new adaptive suspension. The update looks to improve ride comfort at high speeds. Both Standard and Sport modes feature an improved algorithm that will adapt better at speeds above 100 mph (160 km/h).

Beach Buggy Racing 2 Controller Support

Instead of using the steering wheel, you will now be able to plug in up to two controllers to the front USB ports and play Beach Buggy Racing 2 by yourself or against a friend.

Media Volume Improvements

There is now a feature that will turn down the volume of whatever media is playing in the car when you open the door. This allows for easier conversations when a passenger is getting in or out of the car. It also stops you from blaring your guilty pleasures for all to hear when you open the door.

Additionally when using media is being streamed from you phone via Bluetooth, the volume match the audio level of the car, rather than the audio level set by the phone.


You can now play chess against one of your passengers or play against four different difficulties of AI. Will you become the ultimate Tesla chess master?

Sketchpad Improvements

The sketchpad is an early Tesla feature and we are finally starting to see improvements. The company has added saturation and the ability to undo multiple mistakes in their latest Tesla software update.

Bopomofo Keyboard

If you need it, Tesla has shrunk the language barrier further by implementing the Bopomofo keyboard into their system. The Bopomofo keyboard is only available if your language is set to Traditional Chinese (Taiwan). You can change your displays language by tapping controls>display>language.

CHAdeMO Compatibility

CHAdeMO charging capability has officially been added to the Tesla Model 3 lineup.

Beach Buggy Racing 2: Tesla Edition

Beach Buggy Racing 2 is part of Tesla’s upcoming batch of games. Beach Buggy Racing 2 will see you racing your Tesla through many different locales and using different power ups to achieve victory. The coolest part of the games is that you can use your actual steering wheel to steer within the car (although be careful, if you play too much you might start to wear your tires as they still move when you play the game).

Arcade and Toybox

Tesla has now made it easier for you to reach the easter eggs section with a dedicated Toybox button. Additionally within the easter eggs screen is a new arcade button which takes you to the Tesla Arcade game lineup.

Dog Mode Improvements

You can now elect to have push notifications sent to you phone every 30 minutes when the Dog Mode is enabled and the battery reaches 20% or below. Definitely a welcome feature to give you peace of mind to make sure your pet stays comfortable.

CCS Charging

The newest update allows owners to charger their Teslas at third-party CCS chargers at up to 200kWh.

Driving Visualization

The driving visualization has been slightly adjusted. It will now automatically zoom in and out to maker better use of the screen space and give you a better understanding of the vehicles around you. When travelling at low speeds through city streets the view will zoom in. However when you are travelling at high speeds on a highway the view will expand to give you a much higher view of the vehicles around you.

Sentry Mode Improvements

Sentry Mode has received some quality-of-life improvements to help you make better use of it. It is now easier to enable and disable Sentry Mode by tapping the Sentry Mode icon at the top of your touchscreen when the car is in Park. Additionally your car can now be defaulted to have Sentry Mode always be enabled when you vehicle is parked. You can enable it by going to Controls> Safety & Security > Sentry Mode > ON, and if ON is selected then you can exclude your home, work, and/or other favorite places by selecting checkboxes. When selected, Sentry Mode will not be enabled when your Tesla is parked close to those locations.

Software Update Preference

Rejoice as you will now be able to opt-in to have a new software update available to you as soon as it is approved for your car configuration and region. Just go to Controls > Software > Software Update Preference > ADVANCED.

Conditional Speed Limits

Your Tesla will now be able to display conditional speed limits. If your road has a speed limit that is dependent on time of day or weather the system will display the conditional speed limit in grey below the regular speed limit sign for your attention.

Supercharger Improvements

Your Tesla will now be able to increase its charge rate from its previous maximum of 120 kW, to the new maximum of 150 kW that is provided by Supercharger V2. This should obviously help with charging your battery faster.

On-Route Battery Warmup

As described during the unveiling of Supercharger V3, when you navigate to a Supercharger your Tesla will start warming up the battery so that it doesn’t waste time doing so after you plug it in. The feature is reported to decrease the average time of charging by 25% when compared to a 120 kW charge. When in combination with the improved 150 kW, it should save even more time at the charger.

Multiple Language Support

For a while now Tesla’s software and features were only available in English. Many around theglobe in foreign speaking countries simply had to adapt but with the latest 2019.12 update, we are seeing multiple language support. This will allow you to change both the language on the display and the language for the voice commands.

Web Browser Upgrade

One of the major complaints by Tesla owners is the built in web browser. In simple terms, it’s just not that good. With the 2019.9 update, we now have an updated web browser to improve performance and security. Elon Musk recently mentioned that the Tesla web browser was set to upgrade to Chromium. It is unconfirmed whether this feature is for only MCU2 cars or both.

Auto High Beams

Tesla Auto High Beams is a feature that has been available for the Model S and X for some time now. With this latest software update, the Tesla Model 3 can now take advantage of the same feature. When your high beams are enabled, the system will be on the lookout for oncoming cars, if they see one they will toggle off until that vehicle is out of sight. This is extremely useful for navigating those extra dark roadways without disrupting the vision of others on the road.

Press To Install Software Update

You can now see details regarding her vehicle software by going to Controls > Software. Not only will you be able to see you current software version, but you will now be able to see if there is a new software update available to be downloaded and a progress bar will be displayed once the car is connected to Wi-Fi. Once the download is complete you will be able to schedule when to install the update or have it installed immediately.

2019.12 New Software Update Page from teslamotors

High Speed Performance

A few weeks ago we saw a range increase for the Tesla Model 3 with a promised ~5% performance increase coming as well. That update is finally here allowing your car to maintain torque and power for longer periods of time driving at high speeds. It is not yet confirmed which vehicles will receive this performance boost.

New Atari Games

In a previous update, Tesla removed Pole Position from their list of Atari games and promised more to come soon. With this latest Tesla software update, we received not one, but two new Atari games. 2048 and Super Breakout have both been added to the growing list of games you can play on your Tesla.

Full List:

  • Missile Command
  • Astroids
  • Lunar Landar
  • Centipede
  • Super Breakout
  • 2048

Not all games are available on all cars. For instance, those who have MCU 1, cars built before February 2018, never received Pole Position. There is no confirmation yet on whether some of these games will be limited to certain cars with this latest update.

No Confirmation Navigate on Autopilot

Tesla has finally released what they have been teasing for a while now, no confirmation Nav on Autopilot. Nav on Autopilot is a feature that allows you to go a full trip on the highway while on Autopilot. The car will make lane changes and maneuvers to get you on the right exits all by itself. Previously, this feature required a confirmation with the turn signal stalk to initiate a lane change that the car wanted to perform. With this latest Tesla software update, lane changes will now be made automatically as long as the driver has a hand on the wheel. You will be notified prior to the lane change via an audio, visual, or physical warning. With that warning you can either cancel the change or let the car proceed. This is just one step closer to a full self-driving Tesla but by no means is this full self-driving.

This feature does not make a car autonomous, and lane changes will only be made when a driver’s hands are detected on the wheel. As has always been the case, until truly driverless cars are validated and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.

Sentry Mode

Back in January, we first heard of Sentry Mode and its wide release to all Tesla models with the previously available Enhanced Autopilot package. Since then, its actual release has been a bit slow with the first sighting being almost a month after conception. Owners of Model 3s started to receive the update with S & X owners left in the dark. Now both models are receiving the same love as the update has finally begun to roll out fleet wide along with a few other neat features.

Sentry Mode is a toggle-able security system. If anyone so much as walks by your car, it will turn on your center screen to show a “recording” message and activates cameras and senors to monitor any criminal activity. If criminal activity (such as a break-in) is detected, the car will trigger an alarm at full volume, increase display brightness, record the incident, and notify you via smartphone. You can then see the recording in your Teslacam. If you still have not set your Teslacam up, or need help doing so, check out this tutorial.

Dog Mode

Dog Mode is also being released alongside the Sentry Mode update to Model S and X owners. Your vehicle already has Cabin Overheat Protection, but with this new mode you can enable a screen that notifies any passersby that your pet is safe and the air conditioning is on.

Dynamic Brake Lights

One new feature you probably have not heard of yet is Dynamic Brake Lights, a feature not invented by Tesla that serves as a useful safety features for both the driver and those around. This feature is currently only available in Europe, as U.S. regulations have yet to permit any dynamic brake lights in the U.S.

“If you are driving over 50 km/h (31 mph) and brake forcefully, the brake lights will now flash quickly to warn other drivers that your car is rapidly slowing down. If your car stops completely, the hazard warning lights will flash until you press the accelerator or manually press the hazard warning lights button to turn them off.”

Power Increase

The Tesla Model 3 has also received a peak power increase of about 5% for all versions. Owners around the globe are already reporting their vehicles feeling much faster. Range has also been boosted to 325 miles for the Long Range version and they have also increased the top speed of the Performance model to 162 mph through an over the air software update.

Model 3 Key Fob Summon

The Model 3 was released with no key or fob. Instead, you relied on your smartphone or key card to unlock and start your vehicle. After some owner feedback, Tesla released a key fob for the Tesla Model 3 but unlike the Model S & X, it did not allow the activation of Summon. With this latest Tesla software update, Summon is now available to be used on the Model 3 key fob as well. The fob itself does not come with the purchase of a Tesla Model 3 but can but bought afterwards from Tesla for $150.

Teslacam Upgrade

Teslacam has been around since ~October of last year. It is a feature that allows you to plug in a USB and use the on board cameras as a dashcam. When the car is on, it is constantly recording and with a press of an on-screen button you can save a 10 minute clip for later use. Originally, the only camera used for recording was the single front facing one. With this latest Tesla software update, Teslacam now uses the two side cameras as well.

If you havn’t yet set up your Teslcam or are having trouble, check out our tutorial. You can also buy a simple ready-to-go package from PureTesla.

1 comment

Linda Whitmore May 6, 2019 - 10:27 am

Regarding the new Sentry Mode, I am concerned about the Hispanic men who will provide this around-the-clock security. You wrote that the new service “activates cameras and senors to monitor any criminal activity.” (Ha!)


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