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Posted on EVANNEX on March 24, 2021 by Denis Gurskiy
Tesla, now a household name in both the auto and tech sectors, has been a pioneer with its OTA (over-the-air) software updates. To this day, Tesla software updates separate the company from all other automakers. The company is able to push out updates to cars wirelessly, just like your cell phone. Taking full advantage of this capability, Tesla thought it best to focus on software features in order to have a unique, competitive edge against the rest.
New features are consistently added to vehicles making a used Tesla feel new again with each software update. Games, Netflix, YouTube, and an on-board Tesla Dashcam are all things just recently introduced via OTA. The full list is seemingly never-ending with hundreds of updates introduced over the last few years.
WHAT IS V11?
For the most part, rather than introducing singular large updates, these updates are typically scattered throughout the year with new features added as the company develops them. However, once in a while Tesla decides to overhaul its interface resulting in a jump-up in version numbers. Presently, all compatible Teslas use the company's V10 software.
The V11 update is set to be Tesla’s next big bundle of software changes resulting in an entire UI overhaul and possible new features.
The small glimpse of V11 doesn’t give us the whole picture but we can see a few new features. The first obvious change being the new Tesla UI with an updated modern design. Throughout most of Tesla’s life, the UI focused on maps and navigation. With FSD reportedly making progress, Tesla could be leaning away from focusing on large maps in lieu of making entertainment features front and center.
The default screen can also be seen with a section linking your phone. Its calendar, texts, and calls are all front and center in their own block. A/C and heating controls are familiar residing in the same location near the bottom of the display.
The column on the left side of the default screen looks to be the Model S’s manual gear selector (see above). As we know, the Model S refresh comes with no gear selector and instead will rely on automation to pick which direction it thinks you want to move. In the settings we can see a new feature dubbed “Smart Shift” and assume that is the button needed to enable (or disable) the automatic gear selection.
Like the Model 3 and Y interface, most basic controls can now be found on the left side, now being swiped out instead of constantly there.
In addition, a new “Insane” acceleration mode can be seen in the leaked images. The car which features the new interface is speculated to be a refreshed LR Model S, so we assume that will be the new performance option while the Plaid and Plaid+ have the additional Ludicrous Mode (and possibly a fourth Plaid Mode) for the track.
During Tesla’s build up to its annual Holiday Update, Elon Musk joked it would be two Fire Emoji’s worth of fun. After the release, he claimed it was only one Fire Emoji (so far) leading owners to believe a part two was coming. Months later, Tesla's software updates have mostly revolved around smaller improvements. Could V11 be the part two of Tesla’s Holiday Update?
Elon Musk has also been touting the further expansion of the FSD Beta program with a simple activation button (for FSD compatible cars). That release is now confirmed as delayed until April. It would not be unreasonable for Tesla to group that feature into the update.
The "spy shots" of Tesla’s update were first publicized via a now-deleted post to Reddit showcasing a first glimpse of the refreshed Model S. More sneak peeks were delivered, courtesy of InsideEVs, yesterday. With the refreshed Model S now on its way to customers, we expect to see V11 on the road in a matter of weeks. However, it should be noted that nothing is confirmed. To that end, Tesla could very well ship the refreshed Model S/X with V10 — prior to pushing out the new update.
As for when the rest of the fleet will get this update, nothing is certain. It could come alongside the introduction of the new Model S/X. Or it could be confined (or elements of it) to Tesla’s premium models only.
In any event, we expect the refreshed Model S/X to be using the more powerful MCU3 eventually leaving some features incompatible with older vehicles, as seen with the transition from MCU1 to MCU2. For example, it's anticipated that the new Model S/X will have a gaming PC built in with images showcasing the ability to play Witcher 3. Simply out of compatibility, we don’t expect something like that to be received across the whole fleet of Teslas out there.
With rumors and speculation guiding hope, we expect V11 to be released sometime in early April.
An earlier version of this article appeared on EVBite. EVBite is an electric vehicle specific news site dedicated to keeping consumers up-to-date on any developments in the ever-expanding EV landscape.