Tesla Holiday Update Has Farting Horn, Revised Screen Layout

new tesla boombox feature

Dave VanderWerpCar and Driver

  • Tesla updated its vehicle firmware that adds an overhauled user experience and driving visualization for the eventual wide release of the company’s Full Self Driving (FSD).
  • The update includes a Boombox mode that adds a number of available horn sounds (including fart, applause, goat, and “La Cucaracha”) and supports custom sounds, too.
  • It also looks like Tesla will miss its goal of releasing FSD before the end of the year, based on CEO Elon Musk’s tweets.

    Tesla’s 2020 Holiday Update, Firmware 2020.48.25 dropped on Christmas Day like a present from a jolly man dressed in red short shorts. At its core, the update brings a new look and feel to how users interact with the infotainment system and a larger portion of the screen now devoted to the driving visualization display. Presumably, that’s to support Full Self-Driving (FSD) once it leaves beta, although it’s looking unlikely that will happen before the end of 2020.

    There are also updates to Santa mode—your vehicle remains the big man’s sleigh while driving, and the surrounding vehicles are now reindeer—along with a couple of new games, including Solitaire, to pass the time.

    The one feature that’s going to annoy the neighbors is Boombox mode. The option allows the driver to change their horn sound on recently built Telsas that are outfitted with external speakers, like our long-term 2019 Model 3. These range from the usual beep to one of many sounds, including: fart, goat, applause, and “La Cucaracha.” The mode also allows for custom sounds to be uploaded from a USB drive. It will be available for all Tesla models with the external “pedestrian [warning] speaker,” Musk said via Twitter, “otherwise no external sound generator except actual horn.” However, before you have visions of trying to fart in the general direction of passers by, know that this feature only works while the vehicle is parked.

    The system also allows the vehicle to essentially become a boombox when you’re not driving around by supporting playing songs from whatever’s playing inside the car on the external speaker, so that owners could share an entire song played from their Tesla to the whole neighborhood. There’s also the ability to change the sound played during remote maneuvers using the Summon feature. In order to keep the authorities from cracking down, the automaker does tell drivers, “Please check local laws before use in public spaces.”

    As expected, lots of users ignored their families to try out the new feature and post videos to Twitter and other social media.

    On the FSD front, it looks like Tesla will miss its end-of-year target to release the gold master version of the now $10,000 driver-assistance feature to the public. In reference to beta version 8, which is currently available to users in a closed group, Musk noted that the beta will likely be released to other drivers in the company’s early-access program after more revisions are made to the system, and they might get it with the release of beta version 10 or 11.

    In the meantime, drivers can enjoy a new layout and annoy their neighbors with weird sounds coming out of their Teslas.

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