Tesla to finally add adaptive headlights, but only for upgraded Model 3

Tesla will finally be adding adaptive headlights to its list of features soon. However it appears as though the feature will only be included on the upgraded Model 3, known as Project Highland, at least for now.

The story of Tesla and adaptive headlights has a long history. If you are unaware, 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 as they are sometimes referred to, the lights turn according to your steering input so that the actual path of the vehicle is illuminated.

Tesla introduced new headlights for the Model 3 all the way back in 2020. While the new headlights didn’t feature any adaptive capabilities at launch, it was later discovered that the certifications on the headlight housing in Europe hinted that the feature may come in a future software update. These new headlights also featured an array Matrix LEDs, meaning they might also have the ability to selectively turn certain LEDs off and on in certain situations, like when you have your high beams on and a vehicle is coming towards you, certain LEDs can be turned off so as to not blind the oncoming driver.

However three years later and none of these features have been added by Tesla through a software update. However, it appears as though adaptive capabilities will finally be coming, but only for the new and upgraded Model 3.

According to European certification documents for the upgraded Model 3 dated November 8, 2023, it will soon receive “Adaptive Main Beam” headlights, presumably through a free over-the-air (OTA) software update. The document was first shared by Julien (@eivissacopter) on X.


As you can see from the document, it also refers to the previous generation Model 3 and Model 3, noted as ‘M3’ and ‘MY,’ which is different than the new Model 3 (Model 3H). This could mean that the adaptive features will only be included on the new Model 3, and not come to the Model 3 and Model Y that have had these new headlights since 2020 and 2021 respectively.

There is also no mention of the Model S and Model X, which also saw new headlights introduced last year.

The upgraded Model 3 launched in several markets in October, but it is not expected to arrive in North America until next year.

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