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22 features that make Tesla cars unlike any others

Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X
  • Tesla vehicles are engineered with a plethora of interesting add-ons and easter eggs.
  • The features reflect Elon Musk's unique sense of humor and have added to Tesla's cult following.
  • From sentry mode to dog mode or "caraoke," here are 22 features that put Teslas in a league of their own.
1. Autopilot
Tesla Autopilot
A Tesla driving in autopilot

All Tesla models are equipped with a driver assistance system called Autopilot.

The feature enables a car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. The function does not replace the role of a driver, but is intended to make driving easier and cut down on accidents.

New Tesla models have eight cameras and 12 sensors that provide a 360-view of the vehicle's surroundings, per the carmaker's website. In the past, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has compared the cameras to the human eye.

The system also features a $12,000 Full-Self Driving add-on which can change lanes, as well as recognize stop lights and stop signs. Only Tesla drivers who meet the company's standards for driver safety can download the feature, which is currently only in beta testing.

While the Autopilot feature is a fan favorite, it has faced backlash in recent years. Since 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened 37 investigations into accidents linked to Tesla driver assistance programs. Most recently, the agency revealed on Monday that it had opened an investigation into a Tesla crash that killed a motorcyclist in 2021. 


2. Caraoke
Craig Robinson Caraoke Battle Spike
Craig Robinson will host Spike's "Caraoke Showdown."

In 2019, Tesla's got a new "caraoke '' function which allows Tesla owners to choose from a vast selection of music and song lyrics.

The feature became especially popular in China. In January, the carmaker's $188 in-car karaoke microphones sold out within an hour of the initial launch in China. The TeslaMic is currently only available in China.

The "caraoke" music selection also features music in different languages. But don't get the idea that you'll be able to sing caraoke while driving, in order for this feature to work, the car has to be parked. 


3. Bioweapon defense mode
Tesla bioweapon defense mode
Tesla CEO Elon Muck talking about the Bioweapon Defense Mode in 2015.

Tesla's Model X and Model Y, as well as more recent versions of the Model S and Model 3, are equipped with a HEPA filtration system that prevents toxic chemicals from getting into the cabin of the car.

The filtration system targets anything from pollution and bacteria to pollen, Tesla has said.

In January, Tesla released a demo video to show how the filter can protect its drivers from biodefense weapons.


4. Touchscreen
The interior of a Tesla driving down the highway
Tesla touchscreen

All Tesla models feature a unique touchscreen that comes with an array of features including video games, streaming services, and live traffic updates.

The screens are also home to standard features like climate control and navigation but look nothing like anything else on the market. 



5. Streaming and video gaming

Tesla is constantly updating its infotainment system with apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.

The system also has several options including Theater, Arcade, Toybox, and Browser. With the Arcade setting, drivers can use the steering wheel buttons or a USB controller to play full games.

The majority of the entertainment features are only available when the car is parked, but drivers have said it has helped them pass time when Teslas are charging or stuck in major traffic jams. Earlier this year, a Tesla driver said he watched Netflix while stuck in a 14-hour traffic jam in snowy weather.

6. Web browser
Tesla web browser
Tesla web browser

 With Tesla's premium connectivity you can access various websites while your car is parked, including Hulu, Spotify, and PLEX media player.

7. Easter eggs
tesla lotus easter egg
Tesla James Bond Lotus Easter egg

Each Tesla is programmed with virtual Easter eggs that can range anywhere from Santa in a sleigh, a rainbow-like road, and even the port of your supercharger lighting up with colors of the rainbow.

8. Air suspension
Tesla smart air suspension
Tesla air suspension controls

Tesla's are equipped with a smart auto raising air suspension system that changes based on the GPS coordinates of your vehicle.

Users also have the option to change the firmness of the suspension manually through the Tesla control panel. This feature could really come in handy if you're traveling across the country, and experience changes in the road.

9. Sentry mode
Tesla sentry mode
Tesla sentry mode catching someone kicking the car

Sentry mode allows you to keep a close eye on your parked vehicle from anywhere in the world.

Let's say someone hits your car with a shopping cart, your Tesla will start recording from the outside cameras and alert you that your vehicle has been hit through the Tesla app. This feature eliminates the stress of ever wondering where that mysterious dent came from. 

10. Advanced parking sensors
A Tesla supercharger station at Burbank Town Center, in Burbank on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 in Burbank, CA.

Tesla's advanced parking sensors allow drivers to be completely aware of objects that may be too close.

If an object gets too close to your vehicle, the car will notify you through audible and visual indicators that you are veering too close to something.

11. Superchargers
FILE PHOTO: Tesla superchargers are shown at a charging station in Santa Clarita, California, U.S. October 2, 2019.  REUTERS/Mike Blake
Tesla superchargers are shown at a charging station in Santa Clarita, California

There are more than 35,000 Tesla supercharging stations in the world -- a number that the company continues to grow.

Tesla says that you can charge your car for as little as 15 minutes for up to 200 miles of travel. 

In the past, EV drivers have said that the fast-charging stations give Tesla owners an advantage over others due to their speed, as well as the wide availability of Tesla chargers.

Tesla Superchargers make up about 58% of fast-charging plugs in the US, according to the Department of Energy.

12. The key
tesla key
Tesla key fob

There are plenty of options that aren't traditional keys for a Tesla.

If you don't want to use your phone or the card, there are also unique key fobs shaped like a Tesla car. 

13. Auto-presenting doors.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk steps out of the new Tesla Model X during an event to launch the company's new crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California.

Tesla's Model X has doors that unlock and fully open as the driver approaches, carrying the key.

The automatic-open option is a setting that can be turned off or on in Tesla's in-car display.

In July, Musk dubbed the feature "one of the best" Model X features.

14. The app
Photo by BRITTA PEDERSEN:POOL:AFP via Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk

One of the most interesting things about Tesla is the app, which allows drivers to control their car from virtually anywhere.

The app sends real-time updates if sentry mode were to activate. You can also check the status of your vehicle while it's charging, control the air conditioning and heat, and also lock and unlock your car. 

15. Over-the-air updates
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S.

Tesla vehicles frequently receive over-the-air updates which are designed to send new features to the vehicles and "make them safer," Tesla's website says.

The vehicles cannot be operated when updates are being installed but you can operate your vehicle when updates are downloading. Other automakers have since adopted Tesla's approach for vehicle updates. 

16. Ludicrous Plus mode
Tesla Track Mode
Tesla on a race track

If you have a need for speed and want to take your Tesla to the race track, then ludicrous plus mode is for you.

This feature heats up the battery to an optimum temperature that allows the vehicle to hit maximum speed.

17. Plaid mode
Tesla Model S Plaid sedan
Tesla Model S Plaid.

Plaid mode is another feature for speed racers.

Teslas with plaid mode "have batteries and three electric motors that can produce up to 1,020 horsepower and can take the car from zero to 60 miles an hour in just two seconds," CNN says. That brings these cars in the same performance bracket as Bugatti's and Lamborghinis.

18. Dog mode
dog in car

With your family pooch in mind, Tesla introduced dog mode to keep them in the car with the temperature of the car being regulated to avoid the animal overheating.

The touchscreen on the car will display a background letting curious bystanders know that your car is a comfortable temperature for your dog and that you will be back.

19. Automatic cabin overheat protection
The interior of the 2021 Tesla Model S sedan.
The interior of the 2021 Tesla Model S sedan.

Tesla also has an automatic climate control system for severe weather conditions.

The Cabin Overheat Protection system turns on when the interior of the empty car hits 105 degrees.

Musk said in July that Tesla's next software update will allow drover's to control at which temperature the cooling system comes on.

"Tesla's automatic cabin overheat protection should make a real difference with record heatwaves," he said.


20. Fart mode
A white Tesla Model S is pictured at a Tesla facility in Littleton, Colorado.
A white Tesla Model S is pictured at a Tesla facility in Littleton, Colorado.

Tesla cars are equipped with a fart mode that allows your vehicle to sound like its breaking wind.

The driver can even choose which speaker the sound comes from to give the impression that the sound is coming from a specific seat or direction.

The carmaker used to have a boombox mode as well, which allowed driver's to replace the sound of their horn with anything from the sound of a bleating goat to a round of applause, but the feature was disabled in February over concerns from the NHTSA.

21. The frunk
Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Mode CES
Tesla frunk

Most cars have a truck in the back, but why would Tesla pass up the opportunity to be anything less than original.

The frunk is just like a trunk, but in the front instead of the back — another feature quickly copied by competitors. 

Since Tesla adopted the frunk other automakers have followed suit. For example, the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck also features a frunk.

22. Explicit lyrics bar
tesla model s infotainment system
Tesla music controls

Through your Tesla music app, you can censor explicit lyrics in songs, which is perfect for driving with young children.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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