Tesla Model 3 Finally Gets Radio, Trip Meter In Latest Software Update

Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3, LA Auto Show (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

Some important, basic features were missing from the Tesla Model 3 during the early launch, but now, updates are continually addressing those issues.

These missing features actually seemed to be the cause of videos of early Model 3 deliveries disappearing from the internet. Tesla was only delivering Model 3s to employees so that there would be an opportunity to get early, instant feedback and continue to update necessary features. Also, the automaker didn’t seem to want those employees posting videos or reporting on early, “unfinished” vehicles.

Tesla Model 3

Inside the Tesla Model 3, LA Auto Show (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

Like all Tesla vehicles, the Model 3 has undergone regular over-the-air software updates since its inception. Now, it comes with an FM radio. The fact that a basic radio wasn’t available was discovered during a video of one of the first deliveries in Texas. Several media outlets reported the information, however, the video quickly went dark. 

People seemed quite concerned that the car didn’t have the feature, and some even thought that the Model 3 would actually never have a radio (instead, you’d be forced to stream music from online sources). Others assured that there would, of course, be all of the “traditional” and/or “expected” features, but it just hadn’t been updated yet. It turns out that the latter was, in fact, correct.

During the recent update, a trip odometer also became standard. To even think that there would be no trip odometer whatsoever, or to assume that such a necessity would be a paid option is absurd. However, Tesla tends to do things much different from all other automakers, and added to this, to say that it’s not the most transparent company would be an understatement. We really had no idea what the real story was with these missing features.

Nonetheless, progress has been made, albeit slowly. It’s rare for Tesla to not follow through with its promises, although it’s increasingly common for said promises to take a measurable length of time. Along with the radio and odometer, the recent Model 3 update also adds apps related to energy consumption and tire pressure monitoring, as well as the easy entry and exit feature that was recently added to the Model S and X. There are still many features to come. Let’s just hope that with customer deliveries starting in the coming weeks, all expected and necessary updates are in place.

Source: Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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81 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Finally Gets Radio, Trip Meter In Latest Software Update"

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I think most people thought the features would be there at some point. As a software developer I was surpassed that they didn’t start with basic features. It also shows how far behind they are. It’s not just hardware they are struggling with, but just getting the entire car to a “completed” state to begin normal sales.

I’ve said it before. I think the Bolt pushed their time table forward by about a year. If the Bolt didn’t exist there wouldn’t have been a 200 mile capable EV out until 2018. The Bolt isn’t a direct competitor to the Model 3, but it can’t be ignored either.

Yep, Tesla is no longer the leader. It is now playing catchup.

The Bolt may not be a direct competitor, but Tesla should definitely be worried about GM’s plans.


Tesla has enjoyed the long range EV playground all to itself until very recently. Now they find it is getting pretty crowded, and GM is now taking up a large section of the playground, and looking to take over what Tesla still claims. Be very concerned Elon, very concerned. 🙂

Serial FUDster and Tesla basher shorting stock!$@#!

Just figured I’d fill in for PP this morning.

If your name wasn’t different, I would have confused you with him!

If PP ever goes offline, I nominate you as his replacement cultist TSLA cheerleader. Lol

And bro1999 yet again swoops in with the blatant posts intended to distract from the actual topic of the story.

So predictable.

Yes. It is rather tiresome, that you must skip down to make a comment, after ignoring what he has to say.
He has found mission in life. To be an obnoxious bore, congratulations.

I didn’t bring up the Bolt first, I merely replied to someone that did. I’m playing the smallest violin in the world right now for you:


bro1999 said:

“Tesla has enjoyed the long range EV playground all to itself until very recently. Now they find it is getting pretty crowded…”

Well, hopefully it will get pretty crowded circa 2020. Right now, sadly not so much.

But it appears that by 2020, the “Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan” to push legacy auto makers into making plug-in EVs will be working pretty well. Hooray!

Go Tesla!


If the Bolt should ever be successful, then GM would force buy them back under an arbitration clause, then smash them all like they did to the EV1. Big oil/gas and their friends at GM, Ford don’t want electric to succeed. They prefer to continue to spew pollutants into the air we all breath. Think about it how much would it have cost to design an attractive EV, They must have used first Leaf as their gold standard. Second Leaf not much better. To compare Bolt to Model 3 is well ludicrous.

Yup! Its true! There are so many people who want the Bolt EV, that GM is going to (someday) deliver a Half Million of them, too!

Play catch-up to whom? Please elaborate.

Who released the first mass-produced, 200+ mile/<$40k BEV? Not Tesla.

Who demoed the first autonomous vehicles that can navigate busy metro areas such as San Francisco, and will launch the first AV taxi fleet in the US in 2019? Again, not Tesla.

I'll give you a hint: the answer contains 2 letters. 😉

Who has no plans to make more than the minimum number of BEVs required to meet ZEV mandates…GM

Said autonomous vehicles are specially built $100K+ non production Bolts that look like a science project and can’t go over 20mph in SF.

You’re talking about those?

Right, the ones the stop at all the Taco Trucks.

Taco Tuesday yo!

Ooh, I can play too.

Who is your employer that you have to be the #1 fanboy for and constantly bash the competition MadBro, hint-it has 2 letters?

Which upstart small car company that is all-in on compelling EVs had the effect of pushing massive GM into fast tracking their small, 200 plus mile range BEV so that GM could salvage some sense of not falling any further behind in the EV landscape??

Which small, upstart company that only does compelling EVs built a nationwide DCFC network on their own???

And after years GM claiming that they didn’t need to participate in helping to grow DCFC, why did Tesla’s success force GM to suddenly reversed themselves and admitted that a robust DCFC network was necessary to support the rollout of compelling EVs and that they would now participate in helping this????

And lastly, since crazy Sven is banned from InsideEvs, who has assumed his role as the mentally ill, carpet-bombing, serial anti-Tesla troll that constantly spreads FUD and has does nothing positive here?????

BTW, if you guessed MadBro for this one you would be correct!

SVEN has been banned from InsideEv’s ???!!!

Never thought he ever said anything wrong.. I miss his in-depth financial analysis.

Bro who released the first 200 mile car? Who released the first 300 mile car? Who released the fastest production car? Who released the first all electric SUV? I will give you a guess it starts with a T and ends with an esla.

Now answer me this question who released a car for $40k that doesn’t have a garage door opener in it? Who is selling their cars with no ACC? Who is charging $750 just to get the ability to fast charge? Who has no option for a larger batter, upgraded performance, sun roof, all wheel drive autoplilot? I will give you a guess it is the same people that can barely sell 20,000 bolts a year even though they were the only ones in the market with a 200+ mile car for $40k.

You had to ask. Well now you know why you shouldn’t bother.

Ya other than selling more EV than any other company or creating a supercharging network or wining the most innovative company over and over or being one of the best brands in the business beating out even your illustrious GM or advancing the autopilot hardware or making the fastest production car in the world or getting over 500,000 reservations for their model 3. Wait who is playing catch up again?

“As a software developer I was surpassed that they didn’t start with basic features”

You are probably not very good at your job 🙂 You always work first on the hard stuff that may cause delays. If you do the easy work first, you might not know that you will need much nore time until a very late moment in your project. And also, you can use the “easy tasks” as fillers while you can’t work on your main functionality.

“You are probably not very good at your job ? You always work first on the hard stuff that may cause delays. If you do the easy work first, you might not know that you will need much nore time until a very late moment in your project. And also, you can use the “easy tasks” as fillers while you can’t work on your main functionality.”

Eh, I think you might be the one who isn’t very good at your job. One of the most basic premises of modern iterative software development is you build in small usable chunks. That means that you work on required features first, so that you can ship a working product while you continue adding “nice to have” features. A car without a radio or an odometer doesn’t meet basic expectations for a car.

“small usable chunks” has nothing to do with “basic features” or “easy tasks” 🙂

Yes, I think it’s safe to say that Mikey has never worked on any software development project.

And would you rather ship a car without the battery management software, OTA update functioonality or stability control software for example because you worked on the FM radio first? 🙂
It seems you don’t even know how much code there is in such a car. But you are a software developer, right…

So you think that they were spending all their time on battery management, over the air updates, and stability control “functioonality”? So they’re still spending all their time working on well understood problems and it had nothing to do with say… adding a new Tesla music service? Would the same programmers who worked on the features you mentioned even work on the same teams that implemented the odometer and radio?

Sorry buddy, but you sound like you graduated from college last spring, and you’re trying to sound like an expert by putting other people down. Give it another five years and you’ll gain some humility and be a better person for it.

Stop, right there. This isn’t a software debate, or slip-up with the details.

This is about defining “the car”. You won’t miss the odometer, like “you won’t miss” the dash board. It was deliberate, as the article indicates. Tesla is developing proprietary streaming music. So, “let’s try leaving FM out” sounded like a great idea, I’m sure. As far as the odometer goes, updates on Model S and Model X have already buried it (sorry, if you preferred what you bought).

The more you appreciate Tesla as this great, awesome company, that can also suck, the better the picture you’ll have.

You think Odometer is a “nice to have”? This is a production car, right?

“Trip Odometer”, not Odometer 🙂

Yes, it is more important than the wheels on the car, if you say so….

I don’t have to choose between wheels and an odometer. I need both!

Clearly that’s not the case in this instance.

They chose a working car with no radio instead of building an awesome immobile boom box. 😀

“but just getting the entire car to a “completed” state to begin normal sales.”

And again, if you knew anything about software, you would also know that there is no such thing as “completed”…

The Bolt EV Arriving and selling the first copies in December, 2016, most likely caused some Pressure at Tesla, but I think the 100,000+ Reservations, even before Elon Brought the Model 3 onto the Stage last year, was another factor, boosted by the continuing demand ramp in ongoing large numbers of reservations! (Elon, post Reveal, said he figured 55,000-60,000 Pre-Reveal Reservations!) Even just after the ‘Model 3 Delivery Party’ on July 28th this year, at the Financial Report, Elon Mentioned 455,000 Model 3 Reservations, NET of some 63,000 Cancellations, AND that new Model 3 Reservations were coming in at a ‘Rate of 1,800 per day’, if I Recall. (IIRC?) That is another stress point for them, since that = 9,000+ per week, up to as much as 12,500+ per week! At a planned max production rate, of only 10,000 Per Week, optimistically, by the End of 2018 (which may also be pushed back 1 Quarter, we will see!), it means if they want to get on top of this avalanche of demand, they may need to figure out how to get to 15,000 Model 3’s Produced (And Delivered) per Week, or the waiting list of Reservations will grow to a… Read more »

I think you mean surprised not surpassed.

As with most software developers you still have not mastered the intricacies of basic English.

Far behind? Tesla is so far ahead of all the other EV makers, GM included. Where do you idiots come up with such stupidity?

So it gets basic features 4 months after initial release that come with just about every other car from the factory. Nice. Lol *slow clap*


And not only can the trolls not even count with the help of their fingers, Will troll appears to be a new mini-me for MadBro following him around and posting his admiration for his mental comments!

It’s five months. Apparently trolls can’t even count single-digit numbers.
😆 😆 😆

I think there’s plenty of room in this world for compelling plug-in EVs from Tesla, GM, and other companies. It’s really sad that some people are so selfish and narrow-minded that they see everything as a zero-sum game.

First Model 3s were delivered at the end of July.
We are at the beginning of Dec. If you want to count the last day of July and the first 4 days of December as a full month and round up to 5, be my guest.

Hey bro when is that basic feature of a garage door opener going to get an over the air update on your bolt? Oh wait the bolt has neither over the air update capability or hardware for a garage door opener. How long has the bolt been out for and it still doesn’t have basic features?

I really wouldn’t even count the car as actually released yet. Just think of it as preproduction and the missing features make more sense.

Someone above said that the Bolt pushed up Tesla’s time line and I think that’s true. Why they didn’t just say the car was coming in 2018, I don’t know. I guess it was good for hype purposes.

How can a new car be sold without a functioning odometer?

Error in story: “Trip Odometer”, not principle ODOMETER!

Just wondering, even with ‘A’ & ‘B’ Trip Odo’s, how often to people use them?

Every day. Because a good trip meter has more than mileage – it includes trip time, efficiency, etc.

Nice to see Tesla is getting close to finishing the design of the Model 3, maybe next year they can start producing them 😉

RWeekly said:

“Just wondering, even with ‘A’ & ‘B’ Trip Odo’s, how often to people use them?”

My answer:

Every battery charge and every gas fill.
And I mean EVERY one.

Well, I do that myself, usually using my ‘A’ trip meter for Fills, and my ‘B’ for Actual Trip Tracking! I just wondered how many others take advantage of them?

I think a ‘C’ Trip Meter, for distance driven per day, is also something that could be another benefit, especially when people talk about how much they drive, it would be usefull to see the truth, charted or listed, day by day!

For gasoline cars, maybe trip computer is not mandatory. However, EVs without a trip computer telling you about the mileage/energy use of last trip are unacceptable. How can they get the range estimate correct without these features?

Just beause a point of data is not echo’d or displayed, does not indicate it is not captured and used!

I use Trip A religiously to read miles per tank so I can figure gas miles per gallon, miles to empty, etc. I use Trip B to remind me miles since last oil change.

I suppose those do become obsolete in an EV.

Really surprised about there not having been an odometer. Isn’t that a basic legal requirement for all motor vehicles in the US, as it is elsewhere? In jurisdictions I’m familiar with, a car with no functioning odometer isn’t real-legal, and wouldn’t pass the mandatory annual MoT inspection.

Just saw Robert Weekley’s clarification that the missing feature was a trip odometer, not the lifetime-miles odometer. That’s an entirely different thing, and the article should eb amended.

Fixed. Thank you.

Yup! It helps much with clarity! But, I found out from another story, which initially was reporting this simmilarly vague! Comments there set us straight, so I hope that helps!

Haha if the other EV GM’s look anything like the ugly Bolt. Tesla will be fine.

The Bolt is not a serious car. I am anxious to see what else they produce. I won’t be be buying a gm, swore off them after 3 straight horror shows from 89 to 99.

GM has 20 more BEVs (maybe 1 or 2 are fuel cell) coming out in the next 5 years, or 5-6 times the number Tesla has planned. Maybe one of those 20 will meet your fancy. 😉

Where is GM sourcing it’s batteries Bro?? How many BEVs can they make when they have no large production capability?
Tell us, SVP?

He just repeats verbatim the latest GM blurb as gospel.
Yeah they won’t do anything like that, it’s just a line of BS.

Lines of BS? Look no further than your cult leader Elon!

The Bolt is not a ‘serious car’? I just got one a month ago and I’m really impressed with it. I put 100k miles on my Leaf, so this isn’t my first EV rodeo. I am eager for Tesla to really succeed, but the lack of basic functions like a radio or trip odometer are really alarming, probably more so than the slow production. It makes me wonder what else is missing. Big trust issue.

So, you are a Tesla Employee? If not, not to worry! You won’t get a very Early Model 3, and since you are a Bolt EV owner, I am figuring you are not a California Based Tesla Current Owner, so you would still have a few Months wait, if you lined uo on March 31st, 2016, to put your deposit down, like I did, up here in Canada (TGWN {The Great White North!})

To be honest, TPMS display would be more useful to me than a radio* or trip odometer.

* We’re old-fashioned. We listen to music that’s on our smartphones that we own.

Andrew, I remember hearing GM was going to take the Model 3 Sales away, but since Elon last noted there was 455,000 reservations, net of 63,000 Model 3 Cancellations, it seems it will take GM another year to finish filling those with Bolt EV sales, if no one else wants a Bolt EV, except those who cancelled their Model 3 Reservation!

This update, in conjunction with the configuration invites, confirms Tesla is finally ready to start delivering Model 3s to the public. No more non-disclosure agreements or unfinished features.

It also confirms that their 3-month delay figure was accurate and they are now back on track. Seems like a bunch of early reservation holders are going to get a nice Christmas present!

The Model 3 now has FM radio? Shucks, I thought perhaps Tesla was protecting people from the possibility that a passenger might want to listen to rabid right-wingnut talk radio.

Just think, now all those Rush Limbaugh fans who wanted to buy a TM3 can now rest easy. Whew! 😉

While I an a fan of Rush, the Canadian rock band, I like the serene thought of staring out over my boring “lumber and wheel” landscape and never again having to hear Rush Limbaugh.

OTOH I do occasionally tune in to Mark Levin as he goes on his daily tirade. Wouldn’t want to waste 4G data on that.

I think most of the right wing radio hosts are on the AM dial, so Model 3 buyers might still be safe!

“…Tesla tends to do things much different from all other automakers”

Yes, but some people confuse this with being better. It isn’t always.

I’d like to see an OTA update that puts all wiper and cruise functions into the steering wheel and stalks, with no GUI requirement.

The Morse code SW update should be here any day. It’s super-minimal.

“You always work first on the hard stuff that may cause delays”

Naw, I work on the easy stuff off the buglist that makes me appear to be working hard 🙂

Now the question is: will the true $35k, base Model 3 come with FM radio and a trip odometer as standard? Or will Tesla pull the same stunt they tried to pull in Germany, where they attempted to fraud the German government by decontenting the S to the point it would fall under just under the 60k euro pricepoint so it would qualify for Germany’s EV incentive.

I could see Elon decontenting the 3 purely to satisfy the $35k promise he made.

And explain again MadBro why GM is not delivering Bolts (Ampera E) to Europe?

Because GM abandoned the European market and is only supply Ampera-E’s as contractually obligated to PSA as part of the Opel buyout? DUH?

So in essence, immense GM has bailed out of the (first) world’s biggest auto market and now tiny upstart Tesla sells more cars their then GM?

Now could that be because tiny upstart Tesla has accomplished what GM (and all the other laggard American OEMs could not and proven that they can outcompete the European luxury/sport car market ON THEIR OWN TURF in Europe??

Just ask MB who used to have the best selling luxury car with the S class but are now usurped by the Tesla Model S.

I know, its getting embarassing for you MadBro.

12 cars a day is huge percentage improvement over making 8 cars a day.
But still not very impressive, production wise. I’m not against Tesla, there are just some areas they are not very impressive as a manufacture.

I don’t see this as worth arguing about.

If Tesla wants to sell the model “3” will no trip odometer, and only an FM-Radio that is fine by me. Seeing as the trip odometer can be implemented 100% in software, it could be added later via a service call and/or over-the-air update.. The Bolt ev is not superlative in this feature, since it only has ONE trip, unlike the 2 in the VOLT. With memory storage being free these days, there is absolutely no reason why there should not be TEN trip odometers. My cheapie $30 cell phone has FIVE stopwatches, since it is free to implement any number of them.

I was under the impression the Pricey I3 only had an FM radio – what I would consider a clear disadvantage. But then, the BOLT cannot take any clear honors here either since the AM radio picks up a huge amount of inverter hash.

What is funny is Pushi’s comment that he can tell who has and has not developed much software.

As someone who has written a fair amount of industrial control software, and also ‘expert system’ software, I find his comment unintentionally funny.

Before someone challenges my statement that ’10 trip odometers cost essentially nothing’, the only information needed to be stored is THE CURRENT MILEAGE WHEN THE PARTICULAR TRIP BUTTON WAS PUSHED. (7 BYTES, allowing up to 999,999.9 miles).

That is the ONLY background info to be stored – having TEN extra trips would then require a mamouth 70 extra bytes of storage. All other related figures (AVG MPG, trip mileage, etc. can be simply recalculated from the non-trip odometer to the reset mileage (when the reset button was last pushed for that trip) when the particular trip is in the foreground.

Added to the 7 bytes would have to be added Usage up to that point of gasoline or electricity, should mpg, or miles/kwh features are wanted to be calculated along with the trip. So in that case, figure 15 bytes, or 150 extra bytes of storage for 10 trip odometers. Since 1 gigabyte of memory storage is almost free these days, I don’t consider that a huge overhead.

I think the extra trip meters are left off for simplicity. The assumption probably is that most car drivers are stupid (probably not incorrect).

On top of that the utility of numerous trip meters is somewhat questionable. Can you really keep track of five different meters and when/why you started all of them? With that many meters you’re moving into the situation where you now have to provide a way to label all of them, adding to the complexity of the whole system.

The standard A-B meters allows you to track an overall trip while still allowing for tracking a second distance (gas tank, daily driving leg, etc.). Once you add the third meter things just start to get confused.

It sucks that the Bolt doesn’t have two trip meters. That just seems like a really weird choice and if I owned one it would annoy me.