Huge Tesla Holiday update brings new features including a 'screaming goat' horn

Is this a good update, or is it baaaaaaaaaaaaad?

Horn sound options in a Tesla
(Image credit: Tesla)

Just in time for the festive period, Tesla has released a bumper crop of new features for its electric cars with a bunch of handy updates along with some more… unusual additions.

Dubbed the 2023 Holiday update, Tesla says the new software will roll out to vehicles next week (w/c December 11), although it does note that "availability varies by model and location" while not providing further clarification on what exactly will be available where.

Included in the new Holiday update is the addition of multi-stop trip planning in the Tesla app, allowing you to plan more complex routes and send them directly to your vehicle so guidance is ready as soon as you get in.

Navigation will also include traffic lights, stop signs and speed cameras, making it easier for you to keep an eye on what’s coming up and check your speed. And an obviously US-only feature (for now) is the option to have your Tesla make automatic 911 calls if the airbags are deployed in an accident.

Other more mundane, but practical additions included are a red shading in the blind spot camera to alert you if there's a vehicle in your blind spot when indicating, the addition of two more camera angles in the live sentry camera mode in the Tesla app, and a new high fidelity park assist which generates a 3D model of your surroundings on the screen to make parking in tight spaces much easier.

Goats and gaming

Handy safety features and practical additions are all well and good, but this is Tesla so of course the update comes with a few Easter eggs too.

One of the more surprising additions is the option to change the horn lock sound - that's the sound emitted when you lock your Tesla, rather than when you hold down the horn in traffic.

A screenshot of the menu shared by Tesla (above) shows options including rubber ducky, jungle, old school (horn), applause and 'GOAT!'. That final one, Tesla clarifies, will be the sound of a screaming goat. 

We're all for novelty features, but we can see these lock sounds getting tiresome pretty quickly. A screaming goat may raise a smile the first couple of times, but hearing it every single day when your neighbour returns from work? No thank you.

Gaming on the rear screen in a Tesla

(Image credit: Tesla)

Back seat passengers also get some action in this update, with games now available to play on the rear touchscreen (for cars which have it), plus those in the back will also be able to pair Bluetooth headphones to the screen - saving those in the front from having to listen to whatever is being played or watched.

There's a new game being added too - Castle Doombad - plus updates for Beach Buggy, Polytopia and Vampire Survivors.

And finally, Apple Podcasts is being added to the infotainment system and a "thunderous" (Tesla's word, not ours) new light show called ‘The Arrival’ will be available, we assume, when you approach the car and unlock it.

John McCann

John has been a technology journalist for more than a decade, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He’s reported on pretty much every area of consumer technology, from laptops, tablets, smartwatches and smartphones to smart speakers, automotive, headphones and more. During his time in journalism, John has written for TechRadar, T3, Shortlist, What Laptop, Windows 8 magazine, Gizmodo UK, Saga Magazine and Saga Exceptional, and he’s appeared in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

Outside of work, John is a passionate Watford FC and Green Bay Packers fan, enjoys a Sunday afternoon watching the F1, and is also a Guinness World Record Holder.