Tesla’s holiday update includes personalized light show open to all


The Holiday Update v11.0 brings a slew of new features, even more than we initially thought.

Rob Maurer (@teslapodcast) via Twitter

Feature-packed live software updates loaded with fun and functional new capabilities for Tesla vehicles have become an annual tradition for Elon Musk and the company at the end of the year. Tuesday, Roadshow has released the first emerging details on the company’s latest installment, v11.0. Then, on Friday, the electric vehicle manufacturer revealed further information, detailing capabilities far beyond functional upgrades, like a new Hyundai-style automatic blind-spot camera display and improved navigation. Yes even amid the legal controversy surrounding the passenger game, 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 available for everyone, even those who don’t even own a Tesla.

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

(Note: It should be noted that the idea that an automaker actively encourages users to download a customized version of any software on their vehicles is unusual. Even within the presumably limited settings of XLights, most cybersecurity teams of automakers frown on the idea of ​​opening 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 resisting piracy of its software, but even if you don’t, it’s further proof that Tesla is walking to the beat of his own drummer.)

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

Music lovers will also appreciate a slew of small updates, including five levels of immersive audio that now includes an auto-adaptive setting that includes manual subwoofer control.

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

For all the details of v11.0 – including new features not detailed here – be sure to check out the new Tesla official blog update.

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