Tesla update turns touchscreen into Atari console

Update 9.0 adds classic computer games 'Easter Egg' plus several mobile app and usability improvements

Tesla Update 9.0

Tesla has always hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ within its infotainment systems of its Model S, Model X and Model 3, and the latest software update introduces the ability to play a range of classic Atari games. Version 9.0 introduces the likes of Asteroids and Centipede, turning the touchscreen - when parked, of course - into a classic arcade console.

The addition comes along with several more useful - albeit less fun - upgrades. All three models in the Tesla line-up gain tweaked user interfaces designed to make the system easier to use.

A new app launcher feature groups commonly used features like the calendar, energy usage, web browser, rear view camera, phone and charging apps in one place. To dismiss an open app you can now swipe downwards on the screen, while reopening the last-used app takes an upward swipe.

Best electric cars on sale

In order to make the climate controls easier to use, the ability to turn the system on or off can now be done without opening the full menu. Other functions, like heaters for the steering wheels, back seats and wipers are all relocated into one simple part of the menu.

Previously, it was only possible to initiate a software update on the car’s own screen. However, a revised Tesla mobile app allows users to remotely launch any updates from their smartphone. Further improvements to the app also enable mapping locations to be sent directly from the app to the car’s navigation system.

Any Tesla with hardware 2.5 or newer (first introduced in August 2017) can also use the forward facing camera as a dashcam. One tap of the on-screen record icon saves the last 10 minutes of driving footage.

The 360 surround camera system has received attention too. The software is now better able to recognise other vehicles around the car, and can ‘see’ and display them in a full surround view. Unlike previously, it can also differentiate between cars, motorcycles and trucks of varying sizes.

The blind spot monitoring system makes use of both cameras and ultrasonic sensors (previously it was just the latter), and can display any potential hazards on-screen. Attempting to make a lane change while a vehicle is in the way will cause the on-screen lane to turn red.

The updates are already available in the US, while UK owners will be able to download the patch in the next couple of weeks.

Beyond the introduction of the software upgrade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the North American equivalent of Euro NCAP, has stated that the Model 3 offers the lowest probability of injury of any car it has ever tested in the event of an accident. The lack of a combustion engine up front and by concentrating most of the mass as centrally as possible means that, according to NHTSA, the car’s crumple zone is able to perform more effectively than in a traditional petrol or diesel-powered car.

Read our new Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Performance review right here...


Polestar 2 vs Tesla Model 3
Polestar 2

Polestar 2 vs Tesla Model 3

The all-electric Polestar 2 is the latest challenger to our current Car of the Year, the Tesla Model 3
6 Aug 2020
Tesla Model X review
Tesla Model X - front action
Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X review

If you want a ludicrously quick crossover with all-electric drive and funny doors, the Tesla Model X is it
13 Jul 2020
Tesla Model 3 review
Tesla Model 3 - front
Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 review

The Tesla Model 3 offers impressive performance, great range and a unique take on car design. It’s an expensive EV, but one of the best.
30 Apr 2020
Best 7-seater cars on sale 2020
Best 7-seater cars - header
7-seater cars

Best 7-seater cars on sale 2020

We pick the best 7-seat cars that provide the best practicality across a wide range of price points
12 Mar 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020