tesla model 3 project highland

Tesla Project Highland Model 3 improves with design changes, new tech

Credit: u/the_frog_said | Reddit r/TeslaMotors

Tesla Project Highland will round out improvements to the Model 3 with changes in the vehicle’s exterior design and up-to-date technologies that are found in the company’s other vehicles.

Rumors have swirled regarding what changes Tesla would make. After initial reports late last year stated Tesla would be revamping the infotainment systems within the vehicle and making other minor changes, it appears some additional information has been brought to light.

A report from Not a Tesla App indicates there will be some cosmetic changes, as well as changes to the sensor and camera suites.

Cosmetic Changes

The report states that the Model 3 headlights will be redesigned for Project Highland and will feature a new shape and design.

We got a sneak peek at these headlights in one of the more recent sightings of the Model 3 Highland, as a candidate with a fresh wheel design, and they seem to be a little more sporty and elongated.

Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ Refresh spotted with never-before-seen wheels


Some of the interior features were leaked several months ago, and we can speculate that the Model 3 may not get a major refresh as the Model S did.

We reported a few months back that Tesla was planning to ditch the wood trim it has used in its vehicles for some time and replace it with the ABS bonded foam non-woven fabric.

This would be a relatively ideal update for the vehicle as the wood trim (at least in my opinion) is outdated and really defies the logic behind such a technologically advanced vehicle. The new interior design could be a better option cosmetically.

Tesla’s updated Model 3 could phase out wood trim


Tesla will also implement a “very minor” refresh with the mirrors, and it could be as simple as a design fix that would streamline manufacturing. It won’t be a huge change, according to the report.

Cameras and Sensors

The Model 3 Highland will reportedly feature additional cameras, three to be exact. One will be located in the center of the front bumper, and two additional cameras could be implemented on the sides.

The front fender housing will contain two cameras to help with Tesla Vision, the company’s planned transition to a camera-based self-driving system.

Tesla is going to remove some sensors from the new Model 3 to cut costs. For example, instead of a temperature sensor, Tesla will utilize weather data and the vehicle’s location to determine the environment outside.

The GPS sensors will also be improved to provide a more accurate location.

Hardware 4

Tesla Model 3s will also be fitted with the recently released Hardware 4 suite, which is the latest version of the company’s self-driving computer.

We provided a breakdown of what some of the Hardware 4 computer entailed after Tesla hacker @greentheonly got his hands on one of the units.

Tesla’s new self-driving computer (HW4): more cameras, radar, and more

Hardware 4 started shipping with some Model S and Model X units recently.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Tesla Project Highland Model 3 improves with design changes, new tech
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