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Tesla releases new software update with navigation, text messaging improvements, and more

Tesla has started to release a new software update with a bunch of small improvements to its navigation system and text messaging user interface, as well as a few new features.

It’s not the big holiday update yet, but there are still a few interesting improvements.

The new update is called 2020.48.5 and it’s starting to be pushed to the fleet globally, according to Tesla owner reports.

New features and changes are dependent on your vehicle model and region.

For example, a new update to the native navigation system is currently only being pushed to owners in China.

Tesla writes in the release notes:

To improve navigation guidance through complicated highway junctions and city intersections, an image of the intersection with the highlighted lane guidance will now be displayed in the turn-by-turn instructions on the touchscreen.

For Model S and Model X vehicles, these new images are going to appear in the instrument cluster screen.

Here are examples of the images in the release notes (via green the only) :

The new feature could make it to other markets in the future, but for now it’s only being reported by Tesla owners based in China.

Still only in China, Tesla is now making the brake lights quickly blink when the brakes are being applied strongly. This one isn’t likely to make it to other markets due to regulations governing lights on vehicles being different in different regions.

With the new update, Tesla is also introducing improvements to its text messaging interface — something that was first introduced in the holiday update last year.

Tesla writes in the release notes:

Consecutive messages from the same sender will now be displayed and dictated together for an improved viewing and listening experience. To view conversations, open the Application Launcher and tap Call > Messages.

In Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, you can also now use the steering wheel’s right scroll to easily dismiss an incoming text message, or re-record an outgoing text message with a double press.

Tesla is also updating Sentry Mode to be able to record events that generate alerts directly in the onboard storage capacity:

Sentry Mode footage of the last panic event will now be saved to onboard memory. To view or save this clip, plug in a USB device, launch the Dashcam Viewer, and tap the save icon on the bottom right corner of the screen.

As we recently reported, Tesla also started to include an external storage device for Sentry Mode with its new vehicles.

For Model S and X vehicles, Tesla is also now introducing a new way to unlatch a charging cable:

You can now press the small black button to the left of the charge port inlet to unlatch the charge cable when your car is unlocked. This may be particularly useful when charging with charge cables that do not have a release button on the connector handle.

Here’s a drawing that Tesla added to the release notes in the new 2020.48.5 software update:

The automaker notes that owners still have the ability to “unlatch a charge cable by using other methods, such as from the vehicle touchscreen, the Mobile App, the connector handle button, or by pressing and holding the rear trunk button on the key fob.”

Finally and the least, Tesla is releasing v0.2 of its TRAX in-car music-making software:

TRAX is now redesigned to help you create audio masterpieces with just a few taps. Quickly preview and mix sounds with a new drum machine and instrument selector, or use new tools and volume controls to reorder, loop and mix tracks. To access, open the Application Launcher and tap Toybox > TRAX > Let’s JAM.

The new update is gradually being pushed to the fleet right now, but it may takes some time before it propagates to the entire fleet.

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