Innovative pioneer Tesla is known for its tech-packed cars. Not just high-tech from the moment it drives off the lot, the Tesla Model 3 can also receive updates and upgrades as new technology becomes available. Tesla owners are able to take advantage of the latest technology without ever having to leave the driveway, but how often does the Model 3 update itself? And are Tesla software upgrades helping or hurting Model 3 owners?
Tesla’s software upgrades: how often does the Model 3 update itself?
There is no set timeframe in which Tesla releases updates and upgrades to its software. But over-the-air (OTA) technology means that the automaker can send out its latest updates to owners of the Model 3 (and other vehicles) through the vehicle’s software that’s already being used and an internet connection. When a new update is available, it is digitally transferred to Tesla cars, where it is automatically downloaded into the Model 3’s system.
The Tesla Model 3 first hit American streets in 2017, and according to Teslarati, more than 120 OTA updates and upgrades have been introduced between then and the first month of 2020. Although Tesla is known for regularly releasing updates to fix bugs and glitches in existing software, Tesla’s OTA updates have ensured Model 3 owners are never driving an “out-of-date” vehicle.
When Car and Driver experts did their long-term, six-month-long road test of the Model 3, that timeframe alone brought about 12 big software updates. According to Car and Driver, their Model 3 received an OTA update every 16 days, on average. But what changes come with Tesla’s OTA updates?
Big over-the-air changes in the Tesla Model 3
Tesla has made numerous OTA software changes since 2017, with a large percentage of those changes simply for maintenance purposes. But even with bug fixes and improvements, Tesla tries to bring something beneficial to owners each time it releases an update.
One of the biggest updates was introduced in 2019 when Tesla upgraded the Model 3 to Software Version 10.0. According to Tesla, this latest software version updated the touchscreen and app, adding a variety of features for owners. Included in this particular upgrade was entertainment features like arcade-style games and “Caraoke.”
But useful, advanced changes were made as well, including Smart Summon – a feature that allows your car to drive to you (like in a parking garage). Software Version 10.0 also gave Model 3 owners driving visualization tech with 360-degree views, updates to the automatic lane change feature, and “Lucky or Happy,” which sends owners on a random, surprise adventure.
Tesla’s OTA software upgrades allow owners to fix potential problems and glitches in their Model 3s without ever having to leave their home or driveway. Not only does this give owners access to the latest and greatest features, but it also saves those same owners time and money as well.
Some updates have even helped the Model 3 become a better performer. The OTA software can help detect and even fix some problems owners may encounter with the Model 3, allowing Car and Driver experts to keep its Model 3 for six months without incurring a dime for maintenance or repair costs.
What’s coming next for Tesla Model 3 owners?
Tesla is continuously working on new tech and updates for its vehicles. According to Tesmanian, the latest update, 2020.12.10, was just recently released, but it isn’t available for all Tesla owners just yet. The 2020.12.10 update includes more advanced tech features for the Dashcam Viewer and Cheetah Launch Mode, which increases acceleration performance. But this update only brings Tesla closer to its goal of a totally autonomous driving fleet.