As owners we’ve been waiting on a major update to the Telsa software for the Model S for a while. As the first images emerged Teslarati covered the breaking news and more have been coming in slowly over the last few months so I wanted to recap what we know about 7.0 and what we don’t so far.


Until the Model X launch, most people running 7.0 have received it under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and are unable to reveal anything about the update. There have been a few owners that have either violated their NDA or were given 7.0 by accident that have posted additional videos and images. The 7.0 release notes have also been leaked over on TMC.

With the launch of the Model X we’ve gotten a lot more information about 7.0 as every Model X appears to be shipping with 7.0 on it and there have been a number of videos and pictures of the Model X displays taken.

What we know

I’m going to list the things i’ve seen/noticed about 7.0 from all the various recent sources that seem to be in agreement. There are still a number of pictures and videos coming in that have different images but those don’t seem to agree with the things covered here. An in-depth review of the changes will come once i’m fortunate enough to get the update for my Model S.

Overall the whole look of the interfaces has been flattened which will take us all some time to get used to just as it did when Apple made that move on iOS. Some still dislike that new look on iOS but most have gotten used to it and many prefer it over the old look and I expect we’ll have a similar experience on the Model S.

Dashboard Updates

Tesla-Autopilot-Firmware-7The dashboard display got the most significant updates in 7.0 with a total overhaul of the display including the following:

Center display:

  • The speedometer (center portion) is completely gone and replaced with new elements (see questions below for non-autopilot cars)
  • The speed (in numbers) is now at the top of the display
  • The cruise symbol appears up near the speed when activated
  • The analog speed display has been removed
  • Range has been moved from the Center display to the bottom left
  • Your drive mode is now on the bottom right of the screen
  • A major new element of an image of your Model S fills the bottom portion of the center display and shows its behavior as it relates to autopilot (see below for open questions). This includes
    • Blind spot warning indicators
    • Lane keep assist indicators
    • Traffic Aware Cruise Control indicator
    • Standard indicators like turn signals, hazard indicators, brake lights, headlights
    • Speed limit warning indicator
    • Collision warning indicator
  • Headlight, high beam and auto high beam indicators still appear in the top left
  • There’s a new indicator when you have something attached to the Model X for towing
  • Hill hold is much improved and there’s a special hill hold indicator on the dash now

Left and right side widgets:

  • A clock widget is now available (but, unfortunately, the time/date appears to have been otherwise removed from the dash display) (it also shows outside temperature, but alas, no inside temperature)
  • An updated energy graph is the replacement for the center display energy information. This app also pops up when power is limited.
  • The trips widget got a major update but now only shows since last charge and since a reset (assume Trip A). The second trip meter isn’t available any more on the center display but still is available through the 17″ display.
  • There is a car display widget which can display tire pressures for all four tires as well as other items like seatbelt that aren’t connected and the state of the sensors (if they’re detecting obstacles nearby etc).

17″ Screen Updates

Model-X-Firmware-7-NavigationCompared to the dash display, the 17″ received relatively minor updates. Most of the updates revolve around flattening  of the look and icon updates related to that.

Unfortunately most of the apps and functions appear to have received no improvements so those NAV limitations, slow browser problems, etc all seem to persist into 7.0.

The few improvements we’ve seen so far are those for the Model X including:

  • Controls for opening/closing driver/passenger doors
  • Controls for opening/closing falcon wing doors
  • Visuals for the new doors
  • A bioweapon defense mode control
  • A cool overlay when an automatic door is open:

7.0 Door open pop out

In a recent tweet Elon said that the “main UI” (I take this to be the 17″ screen) will be getting an update in the next release, 7.1:

7.1 Mention

I suspect Tesla was running late on the full update and split the full 7.0 release into two deliveries. Either way, its good to know more improvements are coming.

Whats obviously missing

Tesla-Release-v7.0-display-668x409Some key elements are still obviously missing from 7.0 for most people — basically everything related to the car steering itself:

  • Auto park
  • Auto steer
  • Automatic lane change

I’ve seen few pictures or videos of these features, but the 7.0 release notes discuss them and in the same thread on TMC is an owner posting an email about an invite to test them. Over at Electrek there’s a review of these functions in action so it does sound like they’re coming soon.

Does anyone else think its odd that at the last launch event they had the cars driving themselves and at the X event almost a year later no cars drove themselves?

What we don’t know

For me, there are a number of questions still not answered:

  • How is the set cruise control speed shown? (not cruise enabled but the speed I have it set to)
  • How is limited regeneration shown? Is it only through the pop up energy widget?
  • How is limited power (acceleration) shown? Is it only through the pop up energy widget?
  • Do non-autopilot Model S’s get the same center display? It seems like a pretty big waste of space since there’s little to show there.
  • Can all cars show the tire pressure on all the tires or only certain models?
  • Did any of the 17″ screen widgets get any improvements (Navigation, i’m talking about you)?
  • There are a a few forms of the center dashboard display shown in videos like the one Teslarati covered and the one from a beta tester in Europe. Will these be different displays for autopilot vs non-autopilot cars? Or will there  be options for what to show in the Center display too? The Teslarati one was from a car without autopilot which seems to imply different center displays for the two types of cars.


Model-X-Firmware-7-Door-ControlsWe know that owners who have paid for their Model X’s and some beta testers are already using 7.0 daily, so 7.0 is already out for some.

7.0 is already out.

The beta steering functions appear to be enabled for only a small number of people with 7.0 and I think any 7.0 out there is still considered a beta or pre-release version.

As the real Model X’s beyond the founder editions start to ship i’d expect to see 7.0 begin to roll out to the Model S too starting with the autopilot cars. As I was writing this I was guessing November, but Elon just answered that question tonight:

7.0 Timeline

We’ll see if the company can meet that date. Sometimes Elon’s dates are a bit aggressive.

I hope that beyond the interface changes above that those additional promised autopilot features are included with the release or there may be a small riot.


I’m not yet sure what I think of 7.0 in terms of the looks. In general, i’m a fan of a flat look and cleaning up the interface which was a bit of a design mess. A lot of information i’m used to will no longer be on the dash display and I like my data and will miss it. I think, overall, the dash display will be a lot less active. There’s also going to be a lot of space reserved to show information my car isn’t capable of. I suspect that means that 7.0 will be a bit of a disappointment for those without autopilot enabled cars.

7.0 will be a bit of a disappointment for those without autopilot enabled cars.

For those with autopilot I believe they’ll welcome the plethora of information you can now get from all the autopilot sensors and feedback on what the car is doing, but I hope the initial 7.0 update brings more than just visual updates for those with autopilot. Autopilot owners are expecting the steering functions demonstrated 11 months ago to be available in 7.0 when it comes out and will not be happy if its not there in the initial 7.0 release. None of the Model X’s we’ve seen appear to have the steering functions (including Elon’s own Model X).

Have you seen things i’ve missed? Do you have any hands on experience from the Model X event or a 7.0 prerelease on a Model S that you’re allowed to talk about? Let me know in the comments below.