New Tesla Model 3 headlight certifications hint at upcoming adaptive ability

When we first shared an exclusive picture of the new headlights coming to the Model 3 back in August, the initial speculation (and hope) was that the new outer lens would have adaptive, or cornering capabilities.

Standard or conventional headlights remain in a fixed position and only illuminate the road directly in front of the car. When you are going around a corner, that means the side of the road is illuminated, and not the road you are about to turn on to.

With adaptive, or cornering headlights, the lights turn according to your steering input so that the actual path of the vehicle is illuminated.

In the first detailed review of the new headlights in the UK last month, the auto-levelling or adjustment setting showed the headlights not only moving up and down, but also side-to-side. This hinted that a future software update could unlock an adaptive feature.

Thanks to Raffael and @TeslaDeDa, two keen eyed Drive Tesla readers in Europe, it looks like adaptive headlights may become a reality.

Unlike in North America, the headlight housing in Germany is imprinted with a series of letters and numbers. The most important in this case are the letters “XCERTV”.

XCRTV housing
Image via @raffaeru /Twitter

In deciphering those codes, the X refers to ‘adaptive front lighting system’ and the T refers to “Funktionen entsprechen Vorschriften für Kurvenlicht”, or ‘functions according to regulations for cornering lights‘ in English.

XCRTV definitions
Image via @raffaeru /Twitter

Given these certifications, it would be strange if the headlights didn’t have these capabilities. It is equally as strange however that they would be certified like this, but not have these capabilities “out of the box” from the factory, instead relying on a software update in the future to bring them to the fleet.

Are any of our readers automotive headlight experts that can shed some light on these certifications? Let us know in the comments below, or send us an email at

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