Up-close look at the new Tesla Model S Matrix LED headlights [Photos & Video]

Tesla updated the Model S design this week with a few new features like updated headlights, taillights, and charge port door design to accommodate a CCS2 charge port.

We have so far seen photos of the new taillights and charge port door, but today The Kilowatts found a Model S Plaid in the Fremont factory parking lot, giving us our first up-close look at the new headlights.

As we reported previously, the new headlights feature Matrix LED technology, with two distinct bulbs in the middle and outer edge of the headlight housing.

You can see from the images below that they look quite different from the previous headlights, and that’s for good reason.

Inside each of those bulbs is an array of LEDs, each one individually controllable allowing for light projection in almost any pattern. This can be implemented in fun ways like the “TESLA” lettering in the Holiday Light Show.

More importantly it can be used for improved safety. For example, if an oncoming car is detected the LEDs can mask out the vehicle by dimming or switching off LEDs that produce distracting glare while other LEDs of the high beam light continue to illuminate everywhere else on the road.

Even though these headlights are now included in the Model S, and have been in the Model 3 and Model Y for some time, Tesla hasn’t actually turned on the adaptive Matrix LED technology yet.

That’s because it was illegal in the United States until earlier this month, when the NHTSA finally approved them for use. With the rule change, it is expected Tesla will send a free over-the-air (OTA) software update to activate them, possibly as soon as next month.

Here are some more pictures and a short video of the Model S Plaid showing off the other new features.


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