These Are All the Features Included With Tesla's 2023 Holiday Update

On Wednesday, news about Tesla's Holiday Update got everyone pumped. The release notes dropped one day later, leaving many Tesla owners disappointed. Many of the features included with the update were "meh" material, although Tesla might still surprise us with some undocumented features.
2023 Holiday Update 8 photos
Photo: @NotATeslaApp via X
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Late Tuesday, this year's Holiday Update was pushed to Wave1 testers, which consists mainly of Tesla employees. Based on talks with people who installed the update, the 2023.44.25 software version was supposed to make everyone happy. Tesla made everyone sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent them from leaking the features before the official announcement. This didn't take long, though, as the release notes were published less than 24 hours later.

In another "expectations versus reality" episode, people found out that the 2023 Holiday Update was not as groundbreaking as they expected, especially considering the secrecy surrounding it. The Release Notes confirmed some of the rumored features from earlier software leaks, but most of the additions to Tesla software can be grouped in the "meh" category. Compared with past years' Holiday Updates, this one seems like a letdown unless Tesla has some undocumented killer changes up its sleeves. Here's everything included in the release notes.

Entertainment: Apple Podcasts Integration and Tesla Arcade Updates

Apple Podcasts for Tesla app syncs with your Apple devices so you can seamlessly follow shows, save episodes, and pick up right where you left off. You can access the app from the application launcher after logging in by scanning the QR code and entering your Apple ID. Premium Connectivity is required for this feature to work.

As usual, Tesla updated its gaming platform with new features. In Beach Buggy Racing, you can now unlock new vehicles and tracks, and you can match your vehicle's color to the one set in Toybox > Colorizer. Polytopia Diplomacy Update adds new peaceful and hostile interactions, and the Vampire Survivors Chilling Update brings a new wintry Whiteout map, along with a new character, achievements, and items to collect. Tesla also added support for PS4, PS5, and Xbox controllers, including rumble effects in select Tesla Arcade games.

Safety: Automatic 911 calls and Automatic Blind Spot Camera

As we found out in October, Tesla EVs will be able to automatically call 911 after a crash if the airbags are triggered. A countdown timer allows you to cancel the call before it's placed if you don't need 911. For this to work, your phone needs to be connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth.

Tesla introduced the Blind Spot Camera feature with the 2021 Holiday Update, but this year, it enhanced it with a new safety feature. The Blind Spot Camera view now alerts you with red shading along the edge when your turn signal is on and your vehicle detects an object or another car in your blind spot.

Navigation: Speed cameras on your route and Trip Planner on Mobile App

As rumored before, the Tesla navigation map now displays symbols along your route to show speed cameras, stop signs, and traffic lights. To access this feature, you need to turn on Online Routing in Navigation. This feature also requires Premium Connectivity.

Tesla owners will also be able to plan a trip on their mobile app. This includes adding multiple stops and charging stops. You can then send it to your Tesla Navigation by selecting Send to Car when you're done.

The update also includes a minor improvement for charging location search in the vehicle map. You can also filter charging stations based on their charging speeds. Three lightning bolts show locations with more than 70 kW, while one lightning bolt shows those with 70 kW or less.

More cameras in Live Camera View

You can now access left and right pillar cameras when you view your vehicle surroundings from the Tesla app. Unfortunately, this is not the bird's-eye-view feature that people wanted, and, disappointingly, Tesla will not use pillar cameras for Sentry Mode. On the plus side, the Live Camera stream is end-to-end encrypted so that not even Tesla can access it.

Light Show enhancements

The Light Show has been a very popular feature introduced with the 2021 Holiday Update. Tesla has since improved this function with new features in the subsequent Holiday Updates, and this year is no different. Tesla added "The Arrival" tune by Irving Victoria, which you can play right away or schedule up to 10 minutes in advance. As always, you can play solo or sync with your friends Teslas for added drama.

Light Show enthusiasts can now play multiple custom Light Shows from the same USB flash drive. To use this feature, you need to save the show files to a directory named "LightShow" on your flash drive, connect, and select the one you want.

That's great, what else?

Other minor changes and improvements include Shuffle Play in Tidal, Apple and Spotify Profile Image, and optimizations to the search function to include the owner's manual results. This is everything mentioned in the Release Notes, although I wouldn't rule out discovering new features that weren't included. As it is, the update failed to impress even Tesla's most ardent fans. Many called it "meh," while Tesla East Bay Fremont asked when Tesla will fix auto wipers on FSD, highlighting one of the most annoying Tesla bugs.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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