Tesla V10 Software Update – Everything We Know

by Denis Gurskiy
Tesla Software Update V10

Tesla’s V10 software update has made itself known recently thanks to a flood of information via Twitter by none other than Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.

UPDATE (9/30/19)
Tesla’s V10 software update has finally hit a wide-release for all to see. To celebrate the occasion, Tesla release a little humourous video to showcase some of the major features found.

Surprisingly there was one big feature that was put into the full release that was not covered in our early assess builds, and that was Spotify.


Finally one of the most highly requested features has made its way into your Tesla. If you were a fan of Slacker or Tunein Radios, don’t worry as Tesla will still offer those services. Also, note that a Spotify Premium account is required to use Spotify in your Tesla.

Hulu/Hulu + Live TV

While Hulu was absent in the early assess versions of the Tesla Theater, Tesla announced that the theater would come with Huli/Hulu + Live TV for you to watch alongside Netflix and Youtube.

Smart Summon

While not necessarily an entertainment feature like the rest of the new things in the V10, it hasn’t stopped providing amusement (and horror at times) to Tesla owners. 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. Results have been mixed, to say the least.

Some have been positive:

While others, not so much:

Of course, this is still considered a beta, but the repercussions of a driverless car getting into accidents and possibly hurting someone could set back a lot of progress that Tesla has made.

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.

Aside from those additions, all of the features we covered below were included in the wide-release.

UPDATE (9/16/19)
Tesla’s upcoming V10 software update is their next step towards advancing both their new and older vehicles. We’ve previously placed together what features were speculated to be introduced in the V10 update however, we finally have some actual images and videos to show thanks to Tesla owners in the early access program.

Do keep in mind that this is an early access version of the V10 update, meaning that the final distribution of the update could likely have some changes in the features we will go over today.

Tesla owner ‘All Electric’ released a video that showcases many of the new features being added, particularly the Tesla Theater and Caraoke. Two features Elon Musk has been boasting about for months.

Tesla Theater

Probably the most anticipated feature to be added in the V10 update. Tesla Theater will allow you to stream video content from sites such as Netflix and Youtube right onto your cars display. Currently the only options are Netflix, Youtube, and Tesla Tutorials. We do not know when/if other streaming providers will be added. Chinese owners look to also have Tencent Video and iQiyi added), but Netflix and Youtube should provide enough content for most owners.

The release notes state:

Tesla Theater lets you watch movies and videos when your car is in PARK and connected to Wi-Fi. To launch the Tesla Theater, tap the new ‘Entertainment’ Icon in the Application Launcher and select the Theater tab. Note: Throughout the duration of the Early Access program you can also stream videos over cell.

So it’s important to note that while Early Access members will be allowed to use cell data to stream videos, this will be limited to Wi-Fi only once the wide release begins. Musk stated that eventually all Supercharger locations will have free Wi-Fi.

Cuphead – Tesla Edition

The most fleshed-out game being added to the Tesla Arcade is the critically acclaimed Cuphead known for its difficulty and unique artstyle.  The release notes read:

Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game inspired by cartoons of the 1930s and heavily focused on boss battles. For the Tesla Edition of Cuphead, enjoy the game’s full first Isle as you play as Cuphead or Mugman (in single-player or in local co-op). Traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves, and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to The Devil!

Interestingly enough, it seems the Tesla version of the game only includes the first of the three islands within Cuphead. Hopefully, future updates will add the remaining chapters. No complaints here as the first island will provide you with an adequate amount of gameplay. Cuphead will be the perfect game to test out your Tesla’s unique ability to utilize a physical controller for gameplay within your car.

Below you can find Co-op gameplay of the game for those who are unfamiliar with it.


A feature that wasn’t mentioned during our initial round-up, Carakoe, as I’m sure you can guess by the name, will help you to singe karaoke in you car. Tesla writes:

Sing karaoke to your favorite songs and artists in your car. You can select Caraoke from the Media menu. Tap the microphone icon to adjust whether the vocal track plays while you sing along. Note: Displaying the karaoke lyrics requires the car to be in PARK.

The lyrics not appearing while in drive might be a bummer during long road trips for passengers, but safety should always take precedence in situations like this.

Driving Visualization

The driving visualization has gotten an incremental improvement. It will not be able to display additional types of objects and allow the user to zoom in and change the angle of the view. Tesla writes:

The driving visualization has been improved to display additional types of objects and lane lines around your car in more environments.

Additionally, you can drag and pinch the driving visualization to temporarily adjust view angles and zoom. After a short of inactivity, the visualization will return back to the default position.

Here is a quick demonstration of the feature:

Automatic Lane Change

Changes to the visualization for automatic lane changes have also been made. The display will now highlight the lane that the Tesla intends to merge into and include a white outline of where in that lane the Tesla plans to be at the end of the lane change. This should help give the driver a better understanding of Tesla’s Autopilot decision making.

The release notes read:

The Automatic Lane Change visualization has been improved to highlight where in the adjacent lane your car is planning to move to. When Automatic Lane Change is initiated, the adjacent lane is highlighted blue, and the target car destination is outlined in white.

The feature can be seen below in action.

Feeling Lucky?/Feeling Hungry?

Finally, there can be an easy answer to the age-old question, “I don’t know, what do you want to eat?”. With the new feature, a simple press of the “Hungry” button in the Navigate menu will direct you to a random place to eat. A press of the “Lucky” button will route you to a random attraction that can hopefully help you begin a spontaneous adventure. The release notes write:

Feeling lucky or feeling hungry? Go on a surprise adventure to a nearby attraction by tapping Navigate > Lucky or get directions to a local restaurant chosen by your Tesla by tapping Navigate > Hungry. We have also updated the place pop-up to include easy access to a website associated with the location if one exists.

The feature not only might end up broadening the horizons of its owners, but it stands that off the radar local businesses might see increased patronage with such a feature.

Map Improvements

Speaking of the navigation system, Tesla has introduced a slight improvement to the maps. The release note states:

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.

Sentry Mode Improvements

Sentry Mode has also received a small quality of life update. The video clips will now be saved in a separate folder in your USB drive in order to make it easier to manage. Additionally, older clips will be automatically deleted if the drive is running out of space.

Sentry Mode video clips are now saved in a separate folder on your USB drive to make them easier to review and manage. Also, the older Sentry model video clips will now be automatically deleted if there is not enough space on the USB drive, and Sentry Mode clips are using more than 5 GB of space.

For those that are still having issues with Teslacam and Sentry Mode, check out some of the many online guides on how to get it working.

Joe Mode

Joe Mode is a minor feature in the Tesla V10 update, but one that parents of small children will no doubt appreciate. This mode will lower the volume of the alert chimes. They are intended to still be audible to the driver, but not loud enough that it will disturb passengers, such as a sleeping baby.

Enabling Joe Mode reduces the volume of your Tesla’s chimes. The quieter chimes continue to alert the driver effectively and minimize disruption to passengers (e.g., Joe’s kids). To enable Joe Mode, tap Controls > Safety & Security > Joe Mode.

Application Launcher Changes

With these new features, the application launcher has received a small update in terms of its arrangement. The Phone App will now sit at the front of the list, closest to the driver. The Tesla Arcade has also been replaced with an Entertainment button that leads to both the Tesla Arcade and Tesla Theater.

The application launcher has been reordered to make it easier to launch the Phone App. We have also replaced the Tesla Arcade with Tesla Entertainment.

Software Update Improvements

Lastly, the Tesla V10 update will finally provide owners with more comprehensive knowledge regarding software updates.

The software update experience now has more style and grace. You will now know which software update version is being downloaded and to be installed. Also, once the software update has been initiated, you can view the install progress when the touchscreen is on.

A few notable omissions we are seeing excluded from this update include Smart Summon and better stop sign/traffic light recognition. But like we previously said, this is not the final release version of the V10 update, and features are subject to change. I can’t imagine us having to wait for V11 to see smart summon become reality.

Previous Article

First and foremost, we will tackle what the planned release date for the Tesla software update V10 will be. According to Musk himself, the release of the update “depends on how release to owners with early access goes, but hopefully wide release by end of August.” Early access members have been given an early August release date.

In a separate response, Musk stated that the V10 software update would come “maybe August, not more than a few months.”

Obviously, we have to remember that “Tesla Time” is a thing and that just because Elon Musk says that he anticipates an update to come out in a month or two, does not mean that it will come out anywhere near the time-frame. Let’s not forget that Advanced Summon was supposed to be ready in “~6 weeks” almost 10 months ago.  Regardless, it is something that most Tesla owners have grown accustomed to, so I’m sure they are prepared for the wait.

The last major update, software update 9.0, brought a lot of new Tesla features to owners, such as Navigate on Autopilot, so what does software update V10 bring to the table? To compress it down into one tweet, Tesla software update V10 will include “…several games & infotainment features, improved highway Autopilot, better traffic light & stop sign recognition & Smart Summon.”

If you want a closer look at everything mentioned so far, keep reading.

Netflix & Youtube Streaming

According to Musk, Tesla software update V10 will come with the “ability to stream YouTube & Netflix when car is stopped coming to your Tesla soon! Has an amazingly immersive, cinematic feel due to the comfy seats & surround sound audio.”

It certainly will be a feature that will be useful while you are parked at a charger and want something to do. While the vertical orientation of the display in the Model S/X does not make it the most ideal for media consumption, it sure beats your phone. Musk would later go on to say that once Tesla gets regulatory approval for full-self driving , they will enable the streaming to work while the car is in motion.

In a follow up tweet, Musk stated that “some” of the streaming services will require that the owner has a premium connectivity package. Tesla premium connectivity is included in all Model S & X’s. Model 3 with premium interior receive one year free while the partial premium interior does not. The package is expected to cost ~$100 per year.

Cuphead & Possibly Other Unity-Based Games

The critically-acclaimed and challenging platformer will finally make its way into your Tesla with the upcoming V10 software update. For those that do not know, Cuphead is a fairly challenging platformer with an artstyle that harkens back to the cartoon artstyle of 1930s. Musk had stated that Cuphead will be able to run at 60 frames per second so that you have as smooth of an experience as possible.

While we knew of the existence of Cuphead (along with the announcement of Fallout Shelter), a followup tweet piqued our interest. For clarification, Cuphead was built with a game engine known as Unity. Unity is a very popular choice of engine for game developers and there are a sizable amount of games made using it. In a response to a question regarding the porting of more Unity-based games, Musk stated that the “Unity port is done, so finessing the controls now. Mostly limited by local storage. Will allow additional game storage via USB. Whatever’s most fun!”.

So if you see one of your favorite Unity-based games in that list, go ahead and pester Elon Musk on twitter until he adds it to your Tesla.

 Better Stop Sign & Traffic Light Recognition

The recognition of stop signs and traffic lights is a very important task for a car to be able to do autonomously if you want to consider it “full self-driving” (FSD). With the newest Tesla V10 software update, Tesla is introducing an improvement in Autopilot’s ability to recognize stop signs and traffic lights. From their most recent earnings letter, we know that Tesla has been running this feature in “shadow mode”, carefully analyzing the situation in the background and comparing what the system would do to what the driver does.

In a response to a question asking whether or not Tesla FSD will require the recognition of traffic signs or if stops signs and traffic lights are enough, Musk stated that it “will recognize & read all signs for FSD. Focused on traffic lights & stop signs right now. Most are very easy. Difficulty is millions of corner cases.”

A reminder that FSD is planned to be “feature complete” by the end of this year.

Text Messages Being Read Aloud

As an added safety feature, Elon Musk confirmed that the Tesla V10 software update will add the option to have your text messages read aloud so that you don’t have to look at your phone while driving.

“Joe Mode”

Those that tend to travel with children might appreciate this next feature found in the Tesla V10 software update. Musk has confirmed a feature known as “Joe Mode” that will decrease the sound your Tesla makes when it does an auto lane correction. This helps those owners that don’t want their warning sounds waking up their sleeping children. Keep note that Musk is “hoping” that this will make it into the update and it is not confirmed.

Smart Summon (Formerly Known As Enhanced Summon)

Smart Summon is a very important step in proving Tesla’s potential as a full self-driving car as the car will actually be driving itself with no driver inside. For those that don’t know, Smart Summon allows you to summon your Tesla to your location within about 150 feet of where you parked. So, say you go to the supermarket and park your Tesla, but want your Tesla to meet you at the curb on your way out; you simply go into the app and summon the car and it should make its way successfully to you. Here are a couple videos of it in action.

Tesla software update V10 will bring this Smart Summon feature for owners to try. This will be the most substantial feature added within the update and there is a lot of room for shenanigans to occur with a car driving by itself.  I hope that Tesla has ironed out every single kink they could find while they were testing it for over 10 months now. The feature has been available to early access members for a few months now.

Emoji Support (Maybe)

For those that really want emojis in their Tesla, Musk stated that while its currently not in the V10 Tesla software update, he will “try” to get it in. So if the lack of emojis were a deal breaker when it came to buying a Tesla, your hesitation will soon be erased.

Minecraft & Roblox (Whenever)

Ever the meme-master, Elon Musk knows what the people want: Minecraft and Roblox. In a response to the Cuphead announcement asking for “minecraft rn elon”, Musk appealed to the masses by stating that yes, they are working on Minecraft. And not only that, Roblox is being given priority as well.

Pretty soon there won’t be a reason to leave your Tesla at all.

Bonus: Tesla Truck Information In 2-3 Months

While this is not exactly related to the V10 Tesla software update, it was mentioned in the same string of tweets talking about the upcoming features.  In a question asking for any more information regarding the Tesla Truck, Elon responded, “we’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months.” Will we actually see something in 2-3 months? We really do hope so.

That’s all the information we have right now regarding the V10 Tesla software update. We will periodically update the page as we get more information and are closer to the final release.

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