Tesla continually improves its electric vehicles with over-the-air software updates that include enhancements to Autopilot, legacy “Enhanced Autopilot”, and Full Self-Driving (FSD) features in the future.
Note that Tesla recently completely updated their Autopilot options to simplify the lineup across its EVs. Enhanced Autopilot is no longer offered and instead, autonomous driving features have been folded into the Full Self-Driving option.
How Often Do Tesla Software Updates Occur?
Tesla Motors continually rolls out firmware updates to its electric cars, including the Tesla Model 3, Model S and X, probably even the Semi and upcoming Roadster ;). They typically test new features on a smaller set of vehicles first (e.g. 1,000), including Elon Musk’s own car, to ensure there are no issues ‘in the wild’ before rolling firmware updates out to the broader fleet.
How often your Tesla’s Autopilot is updated depends on your patch cycle. Each Tesla vehicle typically has a 30 to 60 day patch cycle, which means that you may not get every incremental update. This ensures the electric vehicle fleet is relatively heterogeneous and not prone to single-bug failures.
It’s probably also helpful to have a strong Wi-Fi signal since the updates can be large. The good news is that your Tesla mobile app will now alert you to updates and allow you to apply them remotely!
What Do the Tesla Software Version Numbers Mean?
Tesla software updates typically look something like this: 2019.40.50.5, where the numbers generally mean:
- 2019 – year
- 40 – week of software build
- 50 – version / revision
- 5 – bug patch number
When you have an update available, the Tesla app will now show you the version number ready to be installed.
Tesla Software Updates 2020
Listed below are the latest software updates with notable Tesla Autopilot improvements. Have any tips? Contact Us!
May 2020 Software Updates
2020.12.16 – Dashcam Improvements and more…
The 2020.12.6 (including 2020.12.16.1) release finally allows users to easily format their USB drive for use with Tesla Dashcam and Sentry mode directly from the vehicle’s screen (under Safety & Security). Note, it does not let you partition the drive to hold both Music and footage – for that see our Tesla USB Dashcam Formatting article. Other improvements include the ability to filter nearby charging stations by power, a Toybox UI redesign, and on-screen display improvements showing pedestrian animations for those with the Full Self-Driving Computer.
April 2020 Software Updates
2020.12.6 (and 2020.12.11.1) – Traffic Light & Stop Sign Control
With the 2020.12.6 release (including 2020.12.10, 2020.12.11, 2020.12.11.1 and beyond) Tesla introduces the long-anticipated Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control feature, where the vehicle will stop for Traffic Lights and Stop Signs when in Autopilot. Read more about it here.
The 2020.12.5 adds Dashcam Viewer, allowing owners to check the dashcam and Senty Mode footage directly within their vehicles, something owners have desperately wanted for a long time since having to take out the USB drive and check via a phone was fairly complex.
March 2020 Software Updates
The 2020.12 has been released, including 2020.12.1. No major updates other than some improvements in the Full Self-Driving visualizations, like showing the word “STOP” in stop signs, etc. In addition, a well-known Tesla hacker has found some hidden code that may be preparation for stopping at traffic signs and lights – a highly anticipated FSD feature.
The 2020.8.1 now included the following:
- Third-Party Charging Stations
- In some regions (e.g. San Francisco Bay Area), you can now find third-party charging options via the in-car map and navigation system.
- Supercharger Out-of-Order Information
- The Supercharger information screen will now indicate how many Superchargers are out-of-order at that location.
- Bluetooth Improvement
- In response to a customer suggestion, the Bluetooth connection now only pairs with your phone when you’re sitting in the driver’s seat.
- Improved Voice Command
- Voice commands should work better, especially in areas with low connectivity
- Track Mode Improvements
- Improvements in monitoring and customization
- Rumored exFAT support for DashCam and Sentry Mode (tbd verification)
January & February 2020 Software Updates
Tesla started rolling out 2020.4, 2020.4.1 and 2020.4.10.1 to US vehicles as of January 24, 2020. The release notes don’t seem to indicate any major changes, other than a newly added “Additional Vehicle Information” screen. As usual, there are likely ongoing improvements to Autopilot performance and reliability.
2020.4.10 was released in mid-February and is still being evaluated for any improvements (no release note updates)
Tesla Software Updates 2019
December 2019 Software Updates
2019.40.50 – Tesla Full Self Driving ‘Sneak Preview’
Tesla rolled out a big holiday update as of December 24, 2019. The 2019.40.50.1, 2019.40.50.7 (bug fixes) and subsequent updates include the following:
- Full Self-Driving “Sneak Preview” – showing better on-screen visualizations including stop lights, stop signs and other select road markings. This requires Hardware 3.
- Phone Improvements – read and respond to text messages. Text messages can be read out loud and you can reply using voice. Favorites on your can now be easily accessed.
- Voice Commands – Voice commands have been rebuilt to better understand natural language and are focused on things to alleviate the need to touch the screen, such as temperature controls, etc.
- Camp Mode – allows the car to maintain temperature, play music, power devices, etc. while in park.
- Twitch in Theater Mode – you can now watch Twitch in Tesla Theater mode (requires latest MCU hardware in Model S and X vehicles).
- Voice Keyboard – You can now use dictation to input text into your car.
- TRAX – In addition to Sketchpad for drawing, you can now mix your own audio masterpieces!
- Save Dashcam Clips on Honk – a new setting to save dashcam footage when you honk your horn.
- Driver Profiles – Additional settings, such as volume level for navigation, etc. are saved as part of the driver profile.
- Games – Stardew Valley and Backgammon are now added.
Here’s a brief close-up of the Full Self-Driving visualizations (requiring the FSD Computer) that utilizes the neural network to perceive the environment, critical to autonomous driving.
The 2019.40.2 and subsequent updates include the following:
- Autosteer Stop Sign Warning – if you approach a stop sign or stoplight while Autosteer is in use, you will receive a warning (it will not stop the car, however).
- Adjacent Lane Speed – Autopilot will automatically reduce speed if your vehicle is moving significantly faster than traffic in adjacent lanes during heavy traffic situations.
November 2019 Software Updates
The 2019.40.1.1 and subsequent updates include the following:
- Autopilot minimum speed limit removed – Autopilot can be used at very low speeds now (below 18 mph) and can be set to a max speed of 0 mph!
- Automatic Lane Change Improvements – Lane changes are now more confident and assertive when manually initiating a lane change.
- Automatic Wiper Improvements – the wiper system now employs the deep learning neural network, doing a better job with light rain and learning from manual driver adjustments.
- Faster Model 3 Charging – Up to 170 kW for Standard Range Plus and up to 200 kW for Mid-Range.
The 2019.36.1 and subsequent updates include the following:
- Driving Visualization Improvements – Driving visualization now includes traffic cones and Navigate on Autopilot will suggest lane changes to avoid cones.
- Scheduled Departure – Improves and replaces Smart Preconditioning by allowing you to specify a departure time. The vehicle will charge optimally before peak times and adjust climate.
- Automatic Navigation – Automatically begins routing to likely destinations based on time and current location (e.g. home to work on weekday mornings, etc.).
- Stopping Mode – come to a full stop with regenerative braking (only for Model 3 and Raven+ Model S and X).
- Small Power Increase – Some vehicles may see a 5% power increase.
September & October 2019 Software Updates
2019.32.10+ Tesla V10 Software Update!
The Tesla V10 update started rolling out as of September 26th (2019.32.10.x and above), to those with the FSD option and “Advanced Download” selected. The current variant being rolled is 2019.31.12.x.
The Tesla V10 update is a massive upgrade that includes:
- Smart Summon (beta)
- Tesla Theater – watch movies while charging
- Improved driving visualizations on-screen
- Map improvements (feeling lucky, tap to navigate)
- Caraoke (yes, what you think it is!)
- Cuphead game
- Sentry mode improvements (new folder, auto-delete)
- Joe Mode (turn down chimes)
August 2019 Software Updates
2019.32.1 and 2019.32.2.2, includes the following:
- Lane Departure Avoidance – will attempt corrective action when drifting from lane between 40 and 90 mph.
- Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance – will attempt to steer you back into a lane if a potential collision is detected.
- Software Update Icon – will appear in status bar if there’s an update available.
- Wheel Configuration – you can select the wheel configuration to better allow the system to determine range, tire pressure, etc.
What about the long-awaited “V10” software update with Enhanced Summon, Driving Visualizations, games, videos, and more? So far it’s only under the Early Access program as 184.108.40.206, but will likely have a different version number in full release.
2019.28.2, for example, includes Chess, Beach Buggy Racing controller support and Media volume improvements.
July 2019 Software Updates
2019.24.x includes Sketchpad Improvements, Owners Manual Improvements and CHAdeMO Adapter Support.
June 2019 Software Updates
2019.20.4.2 includes the Beach Buggy Racing 2 update!
2019.20.2.1 includes Display Brightness improvements to better account for ambient light, particularly in night mode.
2019.20.1 includes Dog Mode improvements (alerts for low battery) and Lock Confirmation Sounds on certain models.
May 2019 Software Updates
2019.16.x is another big update that includes:
- New lane departure avoidance features
- Improved driving visualization (zooms on-screen vehicle, depending on situation)
- New Sentry Mode options (auto-enable and exclude at Home/Work, easier access from Park menu)
- Software update preference to receive updates immediately
- Conditional speed limits that shows recommended speed limit based on conditions (like rain, etc.)
Note: this is now rolling out widely as 2019.16.3, 2019.16.3
April 2019 Software Updates
2019.12.x a significant software update that brings some big new features including:
- Chromium-based web browser
- On-route battery warm-up for Supercharging
- Supercharging rate up to 150 kw for S and X (US)
- Sentry Mode without USB
- New TeslAtari games
- Software updates tab in Settings
The first release was 2019.12.1, followed quickly by several patches, including 2019.12.1.1, 2019.12.1.2 and 2019.12.1.3.
2019.8.5 brings the long awaited Navigate on Autopilot update that makes Lane Change Confirmation optional. In addition, users have reported significant upgrades to driving smoothness via Autopilot Neural Network upgrades. It appears to be rolling out fairly quickly.
March 2019 Software Updates
2019.8.4 software update doesn’t appear to have significant changes and is likely is a set of bug fixes.
2019.8.3 software update release notes:
Additional 8.3 updates include Model 3 summon with key fob and a power increase for the Model 3 (not AWD version yet). Model S and X now receive Sentry mode and multi-camera Dashcam capabilities as well.
2019.8.2 includes disable confirmation for lane changes on Navigation on Autopilot (NoA), in rare cases. The owner’s manual also alludes to the ability to enable NoA at the start of every trip, but this has not been confirmed.
2019.8.1 includes Enhanced Summon that requires activation server-side from Tesla.
February 2019 Software Updates
Update 2019.5.x (incl. 5.4, 5.14, 5.15, etc.)
The 2019.5.x update variants includes the following features: Blind Spot Warning chime, in addition to other updates such as: Sentry Mode (Model 3), Multi-Camera Dash Cam (Model 3), Dog Mode (all), and Auto-Folding Mirrors. It also appears Tesla has begun testing this version on Autopilot Hardware 3 test vehicles in California for the first time (these are vehicles using Tesla’s custom AI chips instead of the NVIDIA system).
2019.5.15 Software Update Autopilot Notes:
- Tesla owners have reported that Autopilot updates include better detection of lane incursions and avoidance, but this is still to be verified. Some have reported more hesitancy with phantom braking.
- It seems that with 5.15 lane changes are a bit smoother as well as acceleration and deceleration.
- Upon disengagement of Autopilot, the speed now remains at the preset speed versus the current speed at time of disengagement.
- Lane changes on S and X can be fully engaged with a partial turn signal tap.
- Navigate-on-Autopilot will automatically disengage if poor weather is detected and re-engage once it clears up.
- In addition there is now Tap-to-Delay Lane Change for Navigate-on-Autopilot:
January 2019 Software Updates
Update 2018.49.20 (49.20) and (50.6)
These updates don’t appear to have significant Autopilot improvement of note.
Tesla Software Updates 2018
December 2018 Software Updates
The 2018.48.1 update had some notable Autopilot improvements in the release notes, including:
- Smoother Lane Centering in Merging Lanes. Users have reported that vehicles don’t center in merging lanes as abruptly as before. A welcome update!
- Navigate-on-Autopilot: Change from Passing Lane. A warning now appears asking users to confirm changing from the left-most passing lane if the user is currently in that lane (as shown here on a Model X instrument cluster):
- Upcoming Lane Change now also appears in the map view on the instrument cluster of Model S/X.
- Update to “Apply Light Force to Steering Wheel” graphic. Now includes hands on the wheel.
October 2018 Software Updates
Firmware 2018.42.2 (October 2018) – Software Version 9
This was a major new software update to Version 9. Read the full Version 9 Update with Navigate on Autopilot in the linked article. In brief summary, Navigate on Autopilot allows the car to drive itself from freeway on-ramp to exit when Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) is active with Autosteer and a destination is entered.
The Version 9 Software update is the biggest step yet towards full self-driving capabilities.
Future Autopilot Updates
These are some of the recent Tesla Software Updates released in the last year, but there are many more exciting features coming down the pipe, like:
- Recognition of traffic lights
- Detection of stop signs
- Automatic City Driving
Learn more about Future Tesla Autopilot Software Updates.