Tesla software update 2020.40.8.12 includes interface refresh, drawing from Cybertruck UI

    Full Self Driving beta users have just received a new over the air software update, the 3rd since being given access to the early access program. In software version 2020.40.8.12, Tesla has overhauled the vehicle representation on the display.

    Here’s the first look at the new UI in action with the car now displayed at a 3/4 angle when stopped. When the user interacts with options like opening the Frunk or Trunk, even doors, the animations are now silky smooth.

    When placing the car into drive, the car animates back to the top-down view. What’s really interesting is the direction the UI is going, much more towards what we seen from the Cybertruck.

    When we saw the Cybertruck for the first time at its unveiling event, it was unclear if that was simply a dev build or we were seeing a preview of things to come. I think from this build it’s clear this is now where Tesla are headed with fonts and UI animations and I have to say, I love it.


    Tesla Raj, one of the lucky early FSD beta users, has a comprehensive video walkthrough of the new updated interface in his Model 3. An important element to this redesign that Raj highlights is that the % of the pixels allocated to the map has now reduced as the vehicle portion has grown.

    In an ideal world I’d love to see this percentage the be scalable anywhere from 50/50 to 80/20, similar to how app splits work on Windows 10.

    In the release notes, Tesla highlights:

    • Quick access to the backup camera and wipers has moved to the bottom bar.
    • Autopilot set speed is now displayed directly below the speedometer and can continue to be adjusted using the right steering wheel scroll wheel. The speed will turn blue when Autopilot is engaged.

    We can see that change reflected by this post from Tesla Raj.

    Regarding FSD beta changes in the newest software build, Elon Musk suggests the car’s ability to navigate the world should be noticeably better, requiring less interventions.

    In the post below, Raj highlights the changes to the bounding boxes in the FSD beta visualisation in 2020.40.8.12.

    In one of the later posts, Raj shows how the maps are now rendered very differently and the multi-coloured UI looks a little more refined when it comes to the lane markings.

    While there are obvious differences between the software building the Cybertruck and the newest build for Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y, you can tell from the shots below there are strong similarities.

    This UI refresh just makes me want that sweet FSD beta even more. It is expected the group of users will expand as we approach the end of the year and as Tesla grows more confident that its at a stage where it’s ready for more owners to use it.

    A big part of the recent price rise for Tesla’s Full Self Driving package was it’s ability to now take corners and navigate city streets, even those which are unmarked. As we’ve seen in the videos shared by FSD beta users, the car is also capable of taking roundabouts in some circumstances.

    As each new software release is rolled out, expect another wave of videos on YouTube and Twitter, showing the progress of FSD. Increasingly we should expect the car to transport owners from their homes to their work (or similar destination) without interventions.

    It looks like Australia (and countries outside the US) may have to wait till early 2021 before getting the FSD beta, but personally, I’d take it today in a heartbeat.

    Tesla Owners Silicon Valley has a new video in a Model X and shows the dramatic change to the display in front of the driver. It is now consumed by the FSD beta navigation, rather than showing widgets for energy use, music playback etc. In a follow-up video, it is shown that it’s possible to still add these widgets back, but the default is to remove them.

    K10 who was recently on our first episode of the techAU.Tesla Podcast, demonstrates the amount of detail that the new 3D model of the car contains. Even the charge door opening and closing is now animated. This shows a real attention to detail.

    This stuff adds to recent finds by the Tesla community that the wheels on the car, actually turn when driving, some of it’s a bit of fun and shows a playful side from Tesla, but it’s also just a really slick new UI with a monochromatic design aesthetic, crisp, clean fonts and smooth animations all adding up to a very neat owner experience.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

    Leave a Reply


    Latest posts


    Related articles