Tesla previews big software update coming this spring – new UI, hands-free trunk, and more

Tesla has shared a preview of a big software update set to be released this spring. The update contains a large number of new features and improvements, however there is a catch as many of them won’t be going out to everybody.

In a post on X on Tuesday morning, the official Tesla account shared details and images of the new “Spring Release,” but unfortunately did not give a date for when it will be rolled out to the fleet. When it does the update will contain new features and improvements for the entire S3XY lineup, but many of those feature will only be available on cars with the latest hardware. You can scroll through this article to read them all, or use the links below to jump to a specific feature or improvement.

Visual Updates (Model 3/Y with AMD chip)
Auto Shift Beta (Model S/X 2021 & later)
Hands-Free Trunk (Model S/X 2021 & later, upgraded Model 3)
Preview of Sentry Mode Recordings (Select countries)
Increased Regenerative Braking on Highway (Model S/X 2021 & later)
Spotify Improvements
Are we there yet?? (Model S/X 2021 & later, upgraded Model 3)

Visual Updates (Model 3/Y with AMD chip)

For owners of newer Model 3 and Model Y cars with the AMD Ryzen chip, you will be getting a substantial update to the user interface (UI). The new layout resembles the layout from the Cybertruck, with the vehicle visualization now taking up the majority of the screen when in Park, with what Tesla describes as “immersive full-screen vehicle controls.”

While in Drive, you will also get expandable Autopilot driving visualizations, with a smaller map in the top right for trip guidance.

One other UI change is that there will no be larger playback controls in the media player, with quick access to recents, favourites, and ‘up next’.

Credit: Tesla

Wondering how to tell if your Tesla has the AMD Ryzen chip? As a rough guide Tesla started building cars with this chip in early 2022. The easiest way to know for sure is get in your car and go to the menu and check Software > Additional Vehicle Information. There you will find “Infotainment processor,” which will say either ‘AMD Ryzen’ or ‘Intel Atom’.

Auto Shift Beta (Model S/X 2021 & later)

Another improvement that won’t be going out to everyone is for Auto Shift Beta. With this update Auto Shift will now also shift between Drive and Reverse, with the decision on which gear to use made based on the vehicle’s surroudings. Until now Auto Shift would only shift out of Park.

Unfortunately Auto Shift is still limited to the refresh Model S and Model X, and more recently the new Model 3, despite CEO Elon Musk saying previously this feature would be coming to all vehicles with FSD.

Credit: Tesla

Hands-Free Trunk (Model S/X 2021 & later, upgraded Model 3)

Another limited feature is something that everyone would love to have but will only be going out to the refresh Model S/X and new Model 3, Hands-Free Trunk. Now when you stand behind your car with the Phone Key, the trunk will automatically open. This feature is optional and can be toggled on/off in Vehicle Settings > Locks > Hands-Free Trunk.

It is unclear why this feature is not available on the legacy Model 3 and Model Y, both of which have powered trunks. We thought it could be because these vehicles do not have Ultra-Wideband (UWB) support, which increases the accuracy and reliability of phone key, however as far as we know UWB support is only available on the 2023+ Model X and new Model 3.

auto trunk
Credit: Tesla

Preview of Sentry Mode Recordings

After years of requests from owners, Tesla is finally allowing you to view Sentry Mode recordings on your mobile device, although it won’t be the full video clip. According to Tesla, if your car alarm is triggered and Sentry Mode is active, a “brief clip” of the recording will be sent to your mobile device. Tesla doesn’t say how long this recording is, but the notification will also include a thumbnail of when the clip was triggered.

This will be available to all Tesla owners who subscribe to Premium Connectivity, but only in “select countries.”

sentry preview
Credit: Tesla

Increased Regenerative Braking on Highway (Model S/X 2021 & later)

Another improvement limited to the refresh Model S/X is increased regenerative breaking at high speeds. “Your vehicle now allows for more regenerative braking, meaning more energy can return to the battery,” Tesla says.

Other Features

A few other minor features will be included in the Spring update.

Audible – will be available as a native media app.
Spotify queue & playback speed – you can now sync your Spotify queue across vehicles & devices & adjust playback speed.
Are we there yet?? Rear passengers can now see current trip details, time & temperature at the top of the rear touchscreen. Only the Model S/X 2021 & later, upgraded Model 3, and Cybertruck currently have a rear screen.

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