Tesla users with older Model S and X models can upgrade their infotainment systems to improve the user experience, but is it worth the cost?
Tesla users with older Model S and Model S vehicles can upgrade their infotainment systems to improve the user experience, but is it worth paying up to $2,250? As cars continue to use technology to refine the driving experience, as seen in navigation and entertainment, these systems will require frequent updates. It has become common practice for automakers to deploy updates over the air, although some upgrades must be performed at service centers.
Tesla is considered one of the most technologically advanced car manufacturers for many reasons. Although its driver assistance system has been highly controversial recently, data from a study showed that Tesla’s electric vehicles with Autopilot enabled are relatively safer than those without. By introducing Tesla Vision, the replacement for ultrasonic sensors, the automaker marks another step in the development of its driver safety systems.
According to Tesla, any Model S or Model X vehicle built in March 2018 or earlier is eligible for the infotainment upgrade, with prices ranging from $1,750 to $2,250 depending on the version of the Autopilot computer. Customers can determine their car’s version by tapping “Check,” then “Software,” then “Additional Vehicle Information” on the infotainment screen. Purchasing the upgrade is easy as drivers simply book an appointment from the Tesla mobile app under the “Other” category. Although the asking price is high, it’s a one-time fee and worth the price for users of older Teslas, given the many improvements the update brings across various categories.
What you get with an infotainment upgrade
On the one hand, drivers will benefit from access to internet radio and music streaming. Tesla owners are making the most of their cars’ gaming capabilities with new additions like Beach Buggy Racing 2 and Stardew Valley. The update also provides access to video streaming on platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Twitch. Tesla users who have the FSD (Full Self-Driving) computer also benefit from improved driving visualization.
Other additions with the infotainment upgrade include support for Wi-Fi and 5GHz LTE cellular networks, a smoother and more responsive touchscreen, and a faster browser with video playback support. FSD users will benefit from enhanced security with recording enabled from front, rear and side cameras for Sentry Mode and DashCam. However, the downside to the upgrade is that users will lose access to AM, FM and SiriusXM radio. SiriusXM is very popular, with Lucid Air recently supporting the app.
Tesla offers users a way to continue using FM and SiriusXM after the infotainment system upgrade. There is an additional $500 radio upgrade that involves installing a compatible radio tuner and antenna. This is an optional add-on for Infotainment Upgrade users who wish to continue using the radio on their Teslas. It should be noted that some features included in the Tesla infotainment upgrade require a premium connectivity subscription to work.