Latest Tesla Software Updates: Traffic Light, Stop Sign Control, Navigate on Autopilot Exit Lane, and More!

by Denis Gurskiy
Tesla Software Updates

One of this automaker’s many benefits is their ability to continuously improve and add to their vehicles through a Tesla over-the-air update. The company is constantly looking to improve the safety of their vehicles, adding owner requested features, or simply making owning a Tesla more fun. With each Tesla software update, your car feels new again. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest Tesla software update today along with previous versions and release notes.


Latest Tesla Software Update


The Tesla software update today can be a little confusing. Not every vehicle is on the same version, updates are done in batches spontaneously, and not all features are available to all cars. You can check out our Tesla software update history and Tesla software update release notes showcasing compatibility and breakdowns below.

The current and latest Tesla update today is 2020.36.10, but don’t start to worry if you’re a bit behind. Tesla rolls out their updates in small batches. You can use TeslaFi, a Tesla firmware tracker, to view fleet progress and check out what percent of the Tesla owners are on which Tesla software versions.

At this point, Teslafi is a necessary tool if you want to truly stay up to date with your car. While many use it as a free Tesla firmware tracker, it’s much more than that. When registered you can track everything about your vehicle such as range loss, electricity savings, software updates, and charging data. If you wish, you can check out their full list of features on their About page. The site 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 data-driven or just 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.

You can earn a month-long free trial simply by using our referral code, EVBite.

How To Update Your Tesla’s Software

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 a second program and receive updates slightly faster than the general public. There was also an opportunity to enter the program through gaining a certain amount of referrals but that option is now gone.

When a new Tesla software update is available, your car will notify you with a request to install it. There is currently no way to force a Tesla software update. The company pushes out available updates at random and the cars slowly download them in the background. You can promote faster download times and more frequent updates by leaving your car connected to WiFi. Additionally, you can go into your car’s settings and change your update preferences for priority support.

‘Controls’ > ‘Software’ > ‘Software Update Preference’

If your Tesla software update failed you’ll just have to wait for the company to push it out again. The same process above applies to Tesla map updates as well.

What Tesla Features Do I Get?

Not all vehicles get all the new features. Your available Tesla features will be dependent on your MCU (Media Control Unit), your Autopilot version, and your countries regulations. All new Tesla’s built today are on Autopilot 3 with MCU 2. Any car built after March 2018 should receive all new and present features excluding those that are region-specific.

For your convinced, we’ve compiled a list outlining Tesla features with their respective Autopilot and MCU version. If you’re wondering what your car is missing out on or are considering buying a used Tesla we highly recommend checking out our list.

We also suggest you head over to the latest Tesla software update mega-thread on Reddit for some discussions with other owners.

Here are the new features found in the new Tesla update today:


Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta)

Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is designed to recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs, slowing your car to a stop when using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer. This feature will slow the car for all detected traffic lights, including green, blinking yellow, and off lights. As your car approaches an intersection, your car will indicate the intention to slow down via a notification, slow down, and stop at the red line shown on the driving visualization.

(Model S/X)To continue through the stop line, pull the Autopilot stalk once or briefly press the accelerator pedal to confirm that it is safe to proceed. As with all Autopilot features, you must continue to pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking because this feature may not stop for all traffic controls. This feature will be conservative, slowdown often at first, and will not attempt to turn through intersections. Over time, as we learn from the fleet, the feature will control more naturally.

(Model 3/Y)To continue through the stop line, push down the gear selector once or briefly press the accelerator pedal to confirm that it is safe to proceed. As with all Autopilot features, you must continue to pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking because this feature may not stop for all traffic controls. This feature will be conservative, slowdown often at first, and will not attempt to turn through intersections. Over time, as we learn from the fleet, the feature will control more naturally.

To enable, shift your car into PARK and tap Controls > Autopilot > Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta).

Note: Before this feature can be enabled, camera calibration may be required, and the latest version of Navigation maps must be downloaded via Wi-Fi. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for additional details about this feature.

First Noticed 2020.36.10 (September 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Another refinement to the traffic intersection has been pushed through. The system is still far from perfect as you still have to confirm to the car that it is safe to proceed through an intersection. A previous update (2020.24.6.9 (July 2020)) however did start allowing the car to proceed through intersections if there was a lead car. As always, Tesla states that this feature will plan to be conservative before it gains enough data to be confident enough to take more risks.


Navigate on Autopilot (Beta) – Exit Passing Lane

While Navigate on Autopilot is activated, your car can now remain in the passing lane. To adjust your passing lane preference, tap Controls > Autopilot > CUSTOMIZE NAVIGATE ON AUTOPILOT > EXIT PASSING LANE.

First Noticed 2020.36.10 (September 2020)MCU 1+AP 2.5+

An additional improvement to the Navigate on Autopilot now allows the car to continue to stay in the passing lane rather than exiting it once an overtake has occurred.


Driving Visualization Improvements

The driving visualization can now display additional objects which include stop lights and select road markings. The stop light visualizations are not a substitute for an attentive driver and will not stop the car. To see these additional objects in your driving visualization, tap Controls > Autopilot > Full Self-Driving Visualization Preview.

First Noticed 2020.36 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Further refinements have been made to the driving visualizations as Tesla tries to provide as much information in the autopilot visualization and for the purposes of nailing autonomy in city streets.


Autosteer Stop Sign and Stop Light Warning

Your car may warn you in some cases if it detects that you are about to run a stop sign or stop light while Autosteer is in use. This is not a substitute for an attentive driver and will not stop the car.

First Noticed 2020.36 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

The improvement to Tesla’s interactions with stop signs and traffic lights will now allow your car to give you a warning if it notices that it might run a stop sign or traffic light while Autosteer is enabled. Do keep in mind that even though it might sense that it will run an intersection, the car will not stop itself, so it is still your responsibility to intervene.


Green Traffic Light Chime

Speed Assist now leverages your car’s cameras to detect speed limit signs A chime will play when the traffic light you are waiting for turns green. If you are waiting behind another car, the chime will play once the car advances unless Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer is active. When Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is activated, a chime will play when you can confirm to proceed through a green traffic light. To enable, tap Controls > Autopilot > Green Traffic Light Chime.

Note: This chime is only designed as a notification. It is the driver’s responsibility to observe their environment and make decisions accordingly.

First Noticed 2020.36 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Another new feature added as Tesla tries to perfect their autonomous system in regards to dealing with stop signs and traffic lights. You can now enable your Tesla to play a chime when it detects a green light so that you don’t become THAT guy who sits at a green light and holds everyone up.


Speed Assist Improvements

Speed Assist now leverages your car’s cameras to detect speed limit signs to improve the accuracy of speed limit data on local roads. Detected speed limit signs will be displayed in the driving visualization and used to set the associated Speed Limit Warning.

As usual, to adjust Speed Assist settings, tap Controls > Autopilot > Speed Limit.

First Noticed 2020.36 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Further refinement of the Full Self Driving suite will now leverage the cameras around your car to get a more accurate understanding of what the speed limit is on the road you are traveling on.


Suspension Instrument Panel Display

The real-time visualization shows how the suspension system is dynamically adjusting each wheel’s damping to account for changing road conditions. This can now be displayed on the right or left side of the instrument panel. To view, hold the respective steering wheel scroll button briefly until the available instrument panel options are displayed. Roll the scroll button to choose Suspension.

First Noticed 2020.36 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

That neat little suspension visualization showing the suspension loads that was introduced in the last update? Well now you can change which side in the gauge cluster it was originally displayed on in case it was not to your liking.


Cruise Set Speed Improvements

Quickly adjust the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer set speed to the current speed by simply tapping the cluster speedometer. You can still tap the speed limit sign to adjust the set speed to the speed limit.

First Noticed 2020.36 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 2+

For those of you with a Model 3/Y you are getting a little shortcut for setting your desired Autopilot speed by tapping on the speedometer or speed limit sign.


Tesla Powerwall Coordination

Your car coordinates with Powerwall for enhanced charging during a power outage, without exceeding the energy and power capabilities of your Powerwall system. Powerwall continuously responds to the changing power needs of your home and will slow or stop your car’s charging, keeping your home loads powered.

During a power outage, your car will charge from the Powerwall whenever it is above the threshold set in the Tesla mobile app. You can change this threshold to balance your home and transportation energy needs, putting you in full control of your energy ecosystem. Powerwall can also use surplus solar to charge your vehicle during an outage if you keep your car plugged in while the sun is shining.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 1+AP 1+

This is not exactly a new feature, but Tesla has expanded the number of models that are eligible to use it. Owners will now not have to worry about their car sucking up all their home’s energy during a power outage and will be able to set a threshold for their Powerwall that will stop or slow car charging once it has been passed.


Dynamic Brake Lights

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.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 1+AP 2+

In an effort to improve safety for not only yourself, but for those behind you, your Tesla will now flash its brake lights if it detects that you have braked forcefully which will hopefully warn anyone that is following you.


Car Left Open Notifications

A mobile notification will be sent if the trunk, the front trunk, or any door is left open for over ten minutes. If all doors and trunks are locked, a notification will be sent if any window or the sunroof is detected to be open ten minutes after leaving the car.

To adjust which notifications get sent, tap Controls > Locks > Car Left Open Notifications. Notifications will not be sent when the car is at Home if “Exclude Home” is selected.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 1+AP 1+

Are you the type of person that is forgetful and might leave your door or truck open for an extended period of time? Well worry no more as Tesla will now notify you if one of your car’s openings have been left open for over ten minutes.


Close Windows on Lock

Your car can now automatically roll up your windows when it is locked. To enable this setting, tap Controls > Locks > Close Windows on Lock.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Tired of having to close your own windows everytime you leave your car like some sort of pedestrian? Well now you can have all your windows roll up automatically when you lock your car, cutting the amount of times you have to use the window switch by 50%.


Suspension Improvements (Smart Air)

You can now see a real-time visualization of how the suspension system is dynamically adjusting each wheel’s damping to account for changing road conditions. Tap “Show Suspension Data” to get even more real-time information.

Adaptive Suspension Damping now has an ADVANCED setting that allows you to set custom levels of Ride Comfort and Handling in addition to the existing COMFORT, AUTO, and SPORT settings.

We have simplified the Tesla suspension control logic to better support both temporary and more permanent heights. If Ride Height is manually adjusted to High or Very High, your car now automatically lowers after you drive a short distance. For snowy or off-road conditions, tap “Keep” next to the Ride Height slider to keep the height at High or Very High until you reach the maximum allowed speed. For steep driveways or places where you repeatedly need a higher ride height, tap “Always Auto-Raise at this Location.” This feature will raise suspension to the saved height when re-entering the location.

Finally, the suspension system now automatically adjusts between Standard and Low ride heights to optimize ride comfort and range, depending on road type. If you prefer your car to remain lower to the ground, enable “Default Ride Height to Low”.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

For those of you with the more updated Raven powertrain Model S/X you will have a little more flexibility with your suspension setup along with a cool visualization to see all the work that your Tesla is doing on the fly while you drive.


Suspension Improvements (Smart Air)

We have simplified the Tesla suspension control logic to better support both temporary and more permanent heights. If Ride Height is manually adjusted to High or Very High, your car now automatically lowers after you drive a short distance. For snowy or off-road conditions, tap “Keep” next to the Ride Height slider to keep the height at High or Very High until you reach the maximum allowed speed. For steep driveways or places where you repeatedly need a higher ride height, tap “Always Auto-Raise at this Location.” This feature will raise suspension to the saved height when re-entering the location.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 1+AP 1+

A further refinement of the suspension update that Tesla pushed through in the previous update will have the car automatically lower itself from its highest position after a short distance in the the instance that you forgot to lower the car back down. You can also now set locations in which the car will auto-raise itself, such as a steep driveway.


Third-Party Charging Stations

When charging at a third-party CCS Combo 2 charging station, the charge port will now automatically unlatch once charging has stopped and your car is unlocked to allow easy removal of the charge cable.

First Noticed 2020.32.1 (August 2020)MCU 1+AP 1+

A little something for those of you who frequent charging stations other than Superchargers when you decide to charge your Tesla. The update will now make the third-party charging experience a little better.


Supercharger Improvements

Your car is now able to charge at V3 Superchargers at up to 250kW peak rates. As usual, when you navigate to a Supercharger, your car will condition its battery during the drive, so it can charge faster.

First Noticed 2020.28.2 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Since the introduction of Supercharger V3 which allowed for an increased charge rate of 250 kW, the charge rates of the Model S/X have incrementaly grown from their initial 120 kW rate. The software update previous to this one allowed for the Raven Model S/X to have charge rates of 225 kW. However getting to the 250 kW rate will not be able to accomplished with a software update and only the most recent S/X models will be capable of reaching those speeds due to needing thicker wires.


Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta)

When Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is enabled, the Autosteer cruising set speed on residential roads can now be increased up to +5 mph (10 km/h) over the speed limit.

First Noticed 2020.28.2 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

Adding on to the rather large improvement found in the last update to the traffic light and stop sign control, Tesla now feels confident enough in the system to allow you to set the cruising speed to 5 mph over whatever the posted speed limit is.


Passenger Face Vent

Your car will automatically disable the passenger face vents when no passenger is detected, lowering energy consumption in hot weather. This vent can be manually enabled by tapping where you’d like the passenger face vent to direct air within the climate control panel.

First Noticed 2020.28.2 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 2+

In an effort to squeeze out as much possible energy as possible to have the highest range possible, Tesla has introduced an energy saving feature that might make some of us laugh at how serious they are taking energy saving. It’s hard to imagine how much energy you will actually save with this feature that allows the vents on the passenger side to turn off, but small efforts like these can add up.


Suspension Improvements

(Raven)
Ride comfort in HIGH and VERY HIGH is improved through adaptive suspension damping improvements and reductions in maximum allowed speeds and ground clearances. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual to find more details.
(Non-Raven)
For improved ride comfort, the maximum allowed speed and ground clearance in HIGH and VERY HIGH have been reduced. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual to find more details.

First Noticed 2020.28.2 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 2+

Depending on whether you have a Raven powertrain Model S/X with improved suspension, or an older Model S/X, you are getting an alteration to your ride height setting, albeit you will get slightly different messages due to the different suspension types. The bottom line, it looks like at high speeds, the maximum heights of the cars have been reduced in an effort to help with ride comfort (and possibly aerodynamics?).


Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control (Beta)

The Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature no longer requires explicit driver confirmation of pulling the Autopilot stalk to continue straight through an intersection for green traffic lights when there is a lead vehicle ahead of you and Autopilot is confident that you are not in a turn-only lane. The stop line in the driving visualization will now turn green to indicate that the car will continue through an intersection.

The Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature no longer requires explicit driver confirmation of pushing down the gear selector to continue straight through an intersection for green traffic lights when there is a lead vehicle ahead of you and Autopilot is confident that you are not in a turn-only lane. The stop line in the driving visualization will now turn green to indicate that the car will continue through an intersection.

Please continue to pay attention and be ready to take immediate action, including braking because this feature may not stop for all traffic controls. This feature will not attempt to turn through intersections but over time, as we continue to learn from the fleet, the feature will control more naturally.

First Noticed 2020.24.6.9 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 3+

A very important incremental update to Tesla’s traffic light and stop sign system was made in this update. While we are still not at a system that can fully decide whether going through a crossing is safe by itself, we are halfway there. The system will now follow a lead car (if there is one) through a crossing if it feels confident in doing so, all without needing any further confirmation from you.


Sirius XM Improvements

In this release, we have made improvements to the interface of Sirius XM to allow easier usability and discovery of stations, enhanced categorization of content, and improved the overall navigation experience.

Please note: You must have an active subscription to listen to Sirius XM. Please see Subscription Tab for details.

First Noticed 2020.24.6.9 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 2+

Another small quality of life improvement that aims to make your experiences with the SiriusXM app a little smoother.


TuneIn Improvements

With this update, we’ve improved the usability and discoverability of TuneIn stations and podcasts so that it’s easier to browse content. We’ve also added the ability to adjust playback speed of podcasts (up to 2x). As usual, to use TuneIn, tap on the media icon and select TuneIn on the source selector.

First Noticed 2020.24.6.9 (July 2020)MCU 2+AP 2+

For those of you who choose TuneIn as your media streaming platform of choice, Tesla has done some small improvements to their app that will hopefully make your user experience a little better.


View Previous Updates Here


FAQs

What is the latest Tesla software update?

Currently, the latest Tesla software update is 2020.36.10

How do you update Tesla software?

When your car is ready to have a software update, a notification will appear on your touchscreen that will prompt you to either install it now or schedule it for later.

What's in the new Tesla software update

The newest Tesla update comes with: improvements to both Navigate on Autopilot as well as Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control

How can I get the Tesla software update faster?

You can go into your settings 'Controls' > 'Software' > 'Software Update Preference'. From there you can switch from 'STANDARD' to 'ADVANCED' which should allow you to receive updates sooner.

How do you download a Tesla update?

When your car is ready to have a software update, a notification will appear on your touchscreen that will prompt you to either install it now or schedule it for later.

Can you force a Tesla software update?

Some people report that holding the 'ADVANCED' button in the 'Software Update Preference' screen will force the car to check for an update, while others have had success calling their service centers to get the car updated there. Results may vary.

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5 comments

Alan Glenn June 19, 2020 - 12:04 pm

How can I tell which version of AP I have? I know I’m on MCU1 but no idea what version of AP?

Reply
Giovanni June 19, 2020 - 1:23 pm

Tesla recently made this easy. From within your car go to the software menu. Under your VIN you’ll see “Additional vehicle information” just go ahead and click that.

Reply
Alan Glenn June 19, 2020 - 1:48 pm

Thanks. I have AP 2.5 but MCU1 so I’m out of luck for lots of these new features. Can’t do the MCU update as I use XM in a bad cell area.

Reply
Chrus February 1, 2020 - 5:31 am

You have not mentioned that this update provides a lot of pretty useless stuff like backgammon but breaks one of the best things about owning a Tesla which is the voice command to play any Spotify song. Now playing music just takes you to a menu so you have to type. This is really dangerous IMO. So don’t update if you haven’t already. Can live with a glitchy car.

Reply
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!)

Reply

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