Tesla’s vacation update includes its own light show that is open to everyone

Holiday Update v11.0 brings a ton of new features – even more than we originally thought.

Rob Maurer (@teslapodcast) on Twitter

Functional over-the-air software updates full of fun and functional new features for Tesla vehicles have become an annual tradition for Elon Musk and the company at the end of the year. On Tuesday, Roadshow released the first new details about the company’s latest release, v11.0. On Friday, the electric car maker then revealed more information that goes well beyond functional upgrades, such as a new, Hyundai-style automatic blind spot camera display and improved navigation. Yes, even amid the legal controversy surrounding passenger play, v11.0 includes new games for Tesla Arcade, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Sudoku, and The Battle of Polytopia. But there’s also a new feature for everyone – even those who don’t even own a Tesla.

The latter is an update to the Tesla Light Show, a feature we’ve seen in the past that enables Tesla audio systems to play holiday favorites like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker Suite) paired with a synchronized light show. Now Tesla has opened up the opportunity to support XLights, an open source, free software that allows users to create their own vehicle light show on a computer. This file can then be uploaded to compatible Tesla vehicles using a USB drive. The crux of the matter is, you can’t use XLights to create light shows for non-Tesla vehicles, but you can compose your own sound and light performances for friends or clients’ cars.

(Note: It’s worth noting that the idea of ​​an automaker actively encouraging users to upload a personalized version of any software to their vehicles is unusual. Even within the supposedly limited parameters of XLights, most automakers’ cybersecurity teams would disapprove of the idea to open up any part of their vehicle’s electronic architecture to outside programming.It’s tempting to see this as a sign of Tesla’s confidence in the hack-resistance of its software, but even if not, it’s further evidence that Tesla is marching to the beat his own drummer.)

Other v11.0 features revealed in Tesla’s official blog post include an updated user interface for models with Intel Atom processors. Inspired by the latest mid-cycle updates of the Model S hatchback and Model X SUVThese features include a Saab-like dark mode, a customizable app launcher, and a streamlined control menu.

Music lovers will also appreciate a number of minor updates, including five levels of Immersive Audio that now include automatic adaptive setting with manual subwoofer control.

Finally, for those who live in colder climates, there are also new, cold-friendly features, including automatic front seat heaters that activate based on cabin conditions and HVAC settings. This seems to work in a similar way to the remote start activated cabin preconditioning function found in Stellantis vehicles. The company says the feature is now available through the Tesla app, as well as the touchscreens in the center of the vehicle – even when the charge level is lower.

For full details on v11.0 – including new features not covered here – be sure to check out Tesla’s new official blog update.


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