Tesla's v10 Software Update: Everything We Know

Guest Contributor: Denis Gurskiy, EV Bite

Tesla’s v10 software update was teased recently thanks to a flood of information flowing from Elon Musk's Twitter feed. According to Musk, the timeframe for v10, “depends on how release to owners with early access goes, but hopefully wide release by end of August,” will (hopefully) happen. Early access members have been given an early August release date. 

Above: Cuphead is soon coming to Tesla via software update V10 (Source: Tesla)

In a separate response, Musk stated that Tesla's v10 software update would come “maybe August, not more than a few months.”

Obviously, we have to remember that “Tesla Time” is a thing and just because Elon says he anticipates an update coming in a month or so, it does not necessarily mean that it will arrive anywhere near the allotted timeframe given. Let’s not forget that Advanced Summon was supposed to be ready in “~6 weeks” almost 10 months ago. Regardless, it's something that most Tesla owners have grown accustomed to, so I’m sure many are prepared to wait.

Tesla's last major update, software update 9.0, introduced a lot of cool new features including Navigate on Autopilot. That said, what might v10 bring to the table? Summarizing in a single tweet, v10 should include “…several games & infotainment features, improved highway Autopilot, better traffic light & stop sign recognition & Smart Summon.”

If you want a closer look at everything mentioned so far, keep reading.

Netflix & Youtube Streaming

According to Musk, v10 will include an “ability to stream YouTube & Netflix when car is stopped coming to your Tesla soon! Has an amazingly immersive, cinematic feel due to the comfy seats & surround sound audio.”

Above: Netflix could be coming to your Tesla (Source: Tesla)

This should prove to be a useful feature when parked at a Supercharger and you're looking to binge watch your favorite shows/videos. While the vertical orientation of the display in the Model S/X does not make it the most ideal for media consumption, it sure beats your phone. Musk would later go on to say that once Tesla gets regulatory approval for full self driving, they'll enable video streaming to work even while the car is in motion.

In a follow up tweet, Musk stated that “some” of the streaming services will require that the owner has a premium connectivity package. Tesla premium connectivity is included in all Model S and X vehicles. Model 3 owners with the premium interior could receive one year free while the partial premium interior does not. The package is expected to cost about $100 per year.

Improved Stop Sign & Traffic Light Recognition

Needless to say, the recognition of stop signs and traffic lights is an extremely important task necessary on the path to “full self-driving” (FSD). With the upcoming v10 software update, Tesla is introducing an improvement in Autopilot’s ability to recognize stop signs and traffic lights. As discussed in their most recent earnings letter, Tesla has been running this feature in “shadow mode” — carefully analyzing driving situations and comparing what the system would do to what the driver does in the real world.

In response to a question about whether Tesla's FSD will require the recognition of traffic signs and stop signs, Musk stated that it “will recognize & read all signs for FSD. Focused on traffic lights & stop signs right now. Most are very easy. Difficulty is millions of corner cases.”

Smart Summon

Smart Summon will be great to showcase Tesla’s progress towards FSD as the vehicle will actually be driving itself with no driver inside. For those that aren't aware, Smart Summon allows you to summon your Tesla to your location within around 150 feet of where you parked. For instance, say you go to the supermarket and park your car. If want your Tesla to meet you at the curb on your way out, you simply go into the Tesla app and summon the car. In turn, your Tesla should successfully make its way to you. Here's recent video footage of Smart Summon in action. 

Above: Examples of Smart Summon in action (YouTube: ALL Electric)

“Yeah, we’ve been working on curbs a *lot*. Concrete seams too. So glamorous,” Musk explained over Twitter. Once internal testing and validation demonstrates it's ready, Tesla could make the Smart Summon feature available (via v10) for all Tesla owners. And it could easily turn out to be the most talked-about v10 feature even though it's been readily available to early access members for a few months now.

Text Messages Read Aloud

As an added safety feature, Musk confirmed that Tesla's upcoming v10 software update will add the option to have your text messages read aloud so that you don’t have to look at your phone while driving.

“Joe Mode”

Those that travel with children might appreciate another new feature planned for v10. Musk confirmed a feature known as “Joe Mode” which will decrease the sound your Tesla makes when it executes an auto lane correction. This should help Tesla owners who don’t want warning sounds to wake up their sleeping kids. Keep in mind that Musk is “hoping” this makes it into v10 but it is not confirmed.

Cuphead & Other Unity-Based Games

Cuphead and other Unity-based games will finally make their way onto the Tesla display with the upcoming v10 software update. For those who don't know, Cuphead is a fairly challenging platformer with a style of art that recalls a vintage cartoon look from the 1930s. Musk stated that Cuphead will be able to run at 60 frames per second to ensure as smooth a gaming experience as possible.

Above: Cuphead is coming to your Tesla (YouTube: IGN)

While most were aware of Cuphead (along with the announcement of Fallout Shelter), a follow up tweet piqued even more interest. First, for clarification, Cuphead was built with a game engine known as Unity. Unity is a very popular choice of engine for game developers and there happens to be a sizable amount of games made using it. In response to a question regarding the porting of more Unity-based games, Musk stated that the “Unity port is done, so [we're] finessing the controls now. Mostly limited by local storage. Will allow additional game storage via USB. Whatever’s most fun!”

Emoji Support (Maybe)

For those that want emojis in their Tesla, Musk stated that while it's currently not in this upcoming v10 software update, he'll “try” to make it happen. 

Minecraft & Roblox (Whenever)

Ever the meme-master, Elon Musk knows what people want: Minecraft and Roblox. In a response to the Cuphead announcement asking for “minecraft rn elon”, Musk appealed to the masses by stating that yes, they are working on Minecraft. And not only that, Roblox is being given priority as well.

Pretty soon there won’t be a reason to leave your Tesla at all.


An earlier version of this article appeared on EV Bite. Written by: Denis Gurskiy. Denis is one of the founding members of EVBite. He has a passion for informing people about the upcoming transition towards EVs. Denis writes about clean cars and their corresponding infrastructures.