Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently confirmed another upcoming feature for the Model 3 on Twitter, stating that the mass market electric car would have auto-dimming high beams after a future over-the-air software update.
Musk’s confirmation of the feature was posted as a response to a tweet from Tesla enthusiast Jeffrey Wolff. According to Wolff, he was surprised that the Model 3 did not have auto-dimming headlights in its present state, prompting him to ask Musk if the feature would be available to the car in the near future. It did not take long before Musk acknowledged the request, posting a simple “Yes” as a response.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2018
Automatic high beams are standard on the Model S and X. As could be seen in the owner’s manual of the flagship sedan and SUV, the headlight setting, which would be accessed from the Controls menu, enables the electric car to adjust the intensity of its headlights depending on the vehicle’s surroundings. According to the owner’s manual for the Model S, the Auto High Beam feature is activated when light from oncoming traffic is detected in front of the vehicle. The high beams would turn back on when the light source is no longer detected.
Inasmuch as the feature is useful, however, Tesla has opted to not roll out Auto High Beam for the Model 3, with the owner’s manual for the compact electric car not including references to the function. If Elon Musk’s response to Wolff’s recent Twitter request is an indication, however, it would likely be only a matter of time before Auto High Beam headlights would be standard for all of Tesla’s offerings.
Advanced headlight features such as automatic high beams represent a valuable addition to safety in the automobile industry. According to a HowStuffWorks report, a study conducted by the US Department of Transportation concluded that American drivers manually use high beams less than 25 percent of the time, regardless of whether they are driving in areas that justify their use. The reason behind this? Many drivers believe that they might end up blinding oncoming traffic if they forget to manually toggle their headlight setting.
Unfortunately for drivers, high beams are invaluable in improving visibility at night. Thus, the US drivers’ hesitation in using high beams ironically ends up increasing their risks of meeting an accident. As noted in a blog post from the Law Offices of Michael Pines in San Diego, CA, 40 percent of highway accidents happen at night despite roads having 60 percent less traffic. With this in mind, features such as Tesla’s Auto High Beam, which are standard in the Model S and X, are incredibly useful in increasing drivers’ safety.
As we noted in a previous report, Tesla recently rolled out update 2018.10.1 to the Model 3, which introduced heated rear seat functionality to the mass market compact electric sedan. The Model 3’s v8.1 (2018.10.1 5e8433d) update also included changes to how the car is unlocked, as well as adjustments to the Automatic Emergency Braking settings of the vehicle. The OTA update also introduced the capability to rearrange the icons on the Model 3’s 15-inch center touchscreen.