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Tesla’s big holiday update adds TikTok and playable Sonic the Hedgehog

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Plus useful UI changes and a new blind spot detection feature

The Tesla Model 3 interior is displayed with a Sega Genesis game controller sitting under the infotainment screen with a window on the screen showing the game Sonic 1.
A screenshot of the Sonic 1 title screen opened in the Tesla web browser taken prior to its release.
Photo by Umar Shakir / The Verge

Tesla’s annual holiday software update for its cars is here, Electrek reports. It includes useful driving features like automatic access to a car’s blind spot cameras, as well as fun additions like new games built into Tesla Arcade, TikTok support, and a feature that lets the electric cars “dance to a choreographed light show.” The update’s version number is 2021.44.25, and should be rolling out over the coming days.

The most useful inclusion in the update could be its blind spot camera feature which automatically shows a live camera view of the car’s blind spot whenever a driver activates a turn signal. Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated the feature was in development in July 2020, but now it’s here to (hopefully) make maneuvers like changing highway lanes a little bit safer.

Other practical improvements include an easier way to add multiple waypoints to a journey, and simplified controls for accessing a car’s primary controls. It’s also now possible to drag and drop your most frequently used apps to customize the car’s menu bar, and the heaters in the front seats can now regulate temperature based on how hot it is in the car generally.

Of course, this being Tesla, there are a number of less essential and more fun inclusions in the update. TikTok videos can now be watched directly from the car’s touchscreen via Tesla Theater, and Tesla Arcade has been updated with new games like the original Sonic the Hedgehog (announced earlier this month) and Sudoku. It’s probably best to save these for when the car is stationary, although controversially they’re also playable by passengers while a vehicle is in motion.

Finally there’s “Light Show,” a feature that appears to be coming to all Tesla’s after being shown off on the Model X in 2015. Many thanks to u/Emulsifide for posting a complete record of the update’s changelog to Reddit.