Old Tesla Models Are Getting A Massive Upgrade

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Aging infotainment is a problem of the past.

The Tesla Model S and Model X have been on the market since 2012 and 2015, respectively. Both recently received significant updates inside and out that'll keep them fresh for at least the next few years. But their core designs have not changed, at least from the outside. Technologically, these electric vehicles are equally computers, and computer software design is constantly evolving.

Per Electrek, Tesla is teaming up with world-renowned video game engineer John Carmack to improve and update the user interface performance in older vehicles. Carmack's resume speaks for itself. He's one of the industry's key forces in 3D computer graphics and was the lead programmer for popular video games like Doom and Quake. He's more recently shifted his interest and skills to virtual reality.

2012-2016 Tesla Model S Front Angle View Tesla
2012-2016 Tesla Model S Side View Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has followed Carmack's career and accomplishments for years and has attempted to hire him more than once. Carmack is not an official Tesla employee at this time, only outside talent hired for a specific task. He also knows a thing or two about Teslas because he owns a Model S.

"I did kind of volunteer to help them fix what I consider very poor user interface performance on the older model S (that I drive)," he said. "Their engineers have been sharing data with me." The carmaker is no stranger to criticism regarding disappointing interface performance older examples of the Model S. Earlier this year, it offered those owners a media control unit upgrade that could cost them as much as $2,500, which isn't exactly cheap.

2016-2020 Tesla Model X Front View Driving Tesla
2016-2020 Tesla Model X Rear View Driving Tesla
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Refusing to upgrade means they'll continue to suffer from poor UI performance as well as miss out on several major software features like Tesla Theater, Dash Cam, and Sentry Mode. The computing power of the old MCU does not allow for any of that.

There's also the (perhaps unrelated) issue of failing touchscreens, a technical issue that goes back to 2012 and has since turned into an investigation by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Carmack has reportedly already gotten started at his new side hustle and it'll be very interesting to see what he comes up with.

2012-2016 Tesla Model S Infotainment System Tesla
2012-2016 Tesla Model S Infotainment System Tesla
2016-2020 Tesla Model X Dashboard Tesla
Source Credits: Electrek

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2012-2016 Tesla Model S Front Angle View
2016-2020 Tesla Model X Dashboard
2012-2016 Tesla Model S Front Angle View
2012-2016 Tesla Model S Side View
2012-2016 Tesla Model S Infotainment System
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