Member Articles

TMC Member Reviews Model S Infotainment Upgrade

Tesla announced earlier this month that owners of Model S and Model X vehicles built March 2018 or earlier are eligible for a $2,500 “Infotainment Upgrade.”

TMC Member zanary picked up his 2017 Model S from the service center Monday with a fresh install of the new computer, the same you’ll find a brand new Tesla.

Here’s zanary’s summary: “This is possibly the best $2500 you will even spend on your Model S/X.”

He offered a some early observations on the MCU2 upgrade:

My Vehicle: 2017 Model S P100D, built and delivered in September 2017. It is equipped with MCU1, AP 2.5 and I have the Full Self Driving pre-purchased. It’s fully wrapped with a graphic wrap and had no issues with Tesla performing the upgrade. I was already running 2020.12 prior to the upgrade. Still running 2020.12 after the upgrade. I only noticed that they pushed out 2020.12 just once after it was all completed. I assume that the option codes were updated, so when 2020.12 was re-installed it added all of the new “stuff” that is supported on MCU2.

Here are the details that might interest some of you.

  • You do get a new MCU screen. Mine still had the plastic protective wrap on it which I remove when I got into the vehicle.
  • You do get a new IC screen.
  • All settings are retained except for. (1) WIFI settings/connections, (2) Bluetooth settings/pairings, (3) Web browser favorites.
  • Trip values, and custom labels are retained.
  • Seat positions, mirror positions, and driver profile settings for each driver remain.
  • Navigation history and favorites are retained.
  • Favorite audio stations are retained (Slacker, and Tune-In)
  • Historical audio stations are also retained.
  • The warning “beeps” that Joe Mode reduces are much louder than with MCU1. This may freak you out at first, but it’s loud. It will sure get your attention.
  • Two type of vehicle calibrations are needed. (1) One for Autopilot basic features, (2) One for lane changes with/without notification. If you go into the Autopilot Settings you’ll that the second one only starts to calibrate once the first one has been completed.
  • Wifi appears much quicker
  • LTE appears much quicker. It still connects to 3G when out of 4G and LTE range. The bar visuals have no change, but connection is much quicker.
  • The games had to be downloaded for the 1st time. You need Wifi for this.
  • There was a required Navigation update that had to be done over WIFI.
  • Overall, the MCU is 100x quicker. HUGE improvement in responsiveness. HUGE improvement in refresh of data on the screen.
  • Visuals on IC2 are 100x smoother and more detailed than before. Animation is 100x better as well, and so smooth.
  • All visuals (garbage cans, cones, lights, road markings, bike land markings, etc…) all appear on IC2
  • I did have to re-enable Ambient Lights. Maybe they turned it off during the install.
  • The scroll wheels are hugely responsive. Each scroll now is recorded whereas before I would have to scroll a few times for it to reduce the volume or the temperature (both scroll wheels behave the same, so it was not a defective scroll wheels). Now, they operate so smoothly and with immediate response.
  • I have the Premium Audio (which was standard on my MS). Before the upgrade I had a EQ that went to 12. Now it only goes to 8. It also has Immersive Sound with three options, however I tested it out with a variety of music (classical, dance, gansta rap, disco, pop, and Spanish), and they all sound the same. I think before I had Off and Dolby Surround. Now I don’t see Dolby listed anywhere.
  • The release notes, manual all appears immediately. No issues with a blank screen anymore.
  • YouTube works perfectly (like your iPhone in portrait mode where the vide is on the top, followed by meta-data below it). Sound quality is impressive for YouTube.
  • I got my USB Drive working again. Just plugged it in. Before I dropped it off, I got the “USB Full” false positive error that everyone is reporting (even on 2020.12), but when I just plugged it in after the upgrade, it works perfectly. Not too sure why as I had 2020.12 before and after the upgrade. Very happy that it’s recording both Sentry and Dashcam again. It’s the S500 – TeslaCam SSD Extreme from PureTesla if anyone is curious.
  • There is no FM/AM/XM radio. We knew that, but I just wanted to confirm this finding in the event you were hopeful.
  • I did not get to keep the old MCU1/IC1. There was a $1000 core charge if I wanted to keep it.
  • I did not notice any sort of USB charging speed increase (in case you were thinking that the amperage might be increased).
  • Before you drop off your vehicle, turn off any Vehicle PIN you might have setup. You will need to re-enable it once you get your Tesla back.
  • When you re-pair your Tesla with your iPhone, the name will now change to Tesla Model S followed by the name of your vehicle. Before the default was just Tesla Model S.
  • When I re-connected my Tesla to my home WIFI, it shows up with a new MAC address, and the manufacture of the chipset appears to be LG Innotek now (previously it was Parrot SA). I’ve only noticed a 2.4ghz connection, but I’m sure it will switch to 5.0ghz when it needs to download something heavy (software, game updates, another navigation update).

Note: I mention x100 throughout the above bullets not as a exact measurement, but as a emotion statement to indicate that it’s so damn quick. It’s night and day!

Check out the full post here.

Image: Tesla

maximizese

Member
Jan 16, 2018
464
435
California
I've got a 2014 S85 w/RWD and zero AP. Other than quicker everything, any advantage to upgrading if I don't have AP? My mind says "hey, you wouldn't keep a laptop for 6 years". Thanks

I've got a 2013 S85 also with zero AP and I'm strongly considering the upgrade. The pros as I see them are:

faster processing
higher resolution
less likely to fail (no known eMMC issues)
video streaming when parked
faster LTE modem
reliable web browser
more games

All of which will be much more appreciated for the times you need to Supercharge during a rainy road trip. I don't mind having older tech as long as it does what I need it to do.
 
I've got a 2013 S85 also with zero AP and I'm strongly considering the upgrade. The pros as I see them are:

faster processing
higher resolution
less likely to fail (no known eMMC issues)
video streaming when parked
faster LTE modem
reliable web browser
more games

All of which will be much more appreciated for the times you need to Supercharge during a rainy road trip. I don't mind having older tech as long as it does what I need it to do.

Is the memory capacity any larger?
 

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,176
930
Belgium
Is the memory capacity any larger?
Memory is the same, so I believe no difference there.

@maximizese made a good list.
Some comment from where I stand (AP1)

faster processing:

Absolutly true. Day and night. Personaly this is not enough to convince me: the MCU1 speed is still ok and not a source of frustration. It does the job (Nav, Music, ...) perfectly.
I know what a slow interface (eg old laptop or iPad 2) can be and how frustrating it is to have to wait one or two seconds after selecting anything on the screen. MCU1 is far from that and still very good by my book.
My theory is that AP1 (and obviously NoAP) puts less stress on the MCU1 (no Sentry, no additional visual animations).

higher resolution:

The MCU1 has the same resolution. By the way, the screen is actually NOT changed: only the computer behind it.
BUT indeed the IC (the screen behind your steering wheel) will be replaced with a high resolution one. I recall an old S loaner with the first "low" resolution IC. Not bad of course, but when you are used the high res one, it's a step back.

Video streaming & Games

True, and this is part of making the Tesla fun and different. But in our 5 years of ownership and roadtrips, we never stay in the car while it charges. But maybe if we had Netflix we would ? Or the kids would while we shop ?

Faster LTE Modem

True. But it's not revolutionary fast. 2x faster, not 10x. So makes that podcasts or songs are loaded a bit faster, and Nav also a little faster.
I can tell as I had my MCU1 replace in October last year.
What I noticed in our regions, is that the 3G and LTE coverage are identical. I had hoped that LTE would be better, but not.
So I often considered the LTE upgrade for my MCU1, but never went for it and I'm glad I did not, as it's not really worth it for me.

Reliable Web Browser

I guess it works much better in MCU2. I keep on hoping it will be fixed for MCU1, but that too is not enough for me to upgrade for MCU2.
 

Jaymc5

Member
Aug 27, 2016
31
40
Port Orchard, WA
I've got a 2013 P85+ and am pretty satisfied with the original version with AM/FM radio (I'm 62 and enjoy my radio :)) Anyway, the main reason I would consider upgrading would to avoid the MCU1 failure - if it does fail, how much does it cost?
 

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,176
930
Belgium
I've got a 2013 P85+ and am pretty satisfied with the original version with AM/FM radio (I'm 62 and enjoy my radio :)) Anyway, the main reason I would consider upgrading would to avoid the MCU1 failure - if it does fail, how much does it cost?
From what I read in the othrr thread, Tesla is not ready yet to do MCU2 upgrade on AP1 or NoAP car.
So hope for you your MCU1 hold on a few more months, so you can have a choice.
I had mine replaced in October last year, out of warranty, it was about 2000€.
There is no case reported yet of the cost of replacing a failed MCU1 by a MCU2. One can hope it is the same 2500$ as MCU1 condition is not mentioned in the current deal.
 

plehrack

Member
Mar 27, 2020
14
3
Los Angeles, CA 91356
I assume you still don't have traffic lights and stop sign animations? My brand new 2020 Model S Performance was delivered on 3/17/20 and has software 2020.12.1 and it doesn't show traffic signals or stop signs like my wife's Model 3 has been doing for around 2 months. :-/
 
I was not interested at all due to the AM/FM delete but today I did a quick check and my favorite radio stations are on Tunein. So when it's available for my 2015 MS I will most likely have it done.

My MCU1 failed under warranty so upgrading to MCU2 should increase it's resale value as well.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,638
2,773
I assume you still don't have traffic lights and stop sign animations? My brand new 2020 Model S Performance was delivered on 3/17/20 and has software 2020.12.1 and it doesn't show traffic signals or stop signs like my wife's Model 3 has been doing for around 2 months. :-/

By default, the FSD preview visualizations are not displayed.

If a vehicle has FSD purchased, MCU2 and the FSD computer; and the visualizations aren't being displayed, check to see if the visualizations have been enabled on the Autopilot settings page.
 

ShawnA

Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
908
666
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi PamelaRachael,

There was no email... It was an announcement on March 3, 2020.
See the blog post.
The only thing that has changed is the delivery dates... (Covid-19?)

upload_2020-4-19_15-18-47.png


The last group of cars was moved from "Early May" to "Coming Soon."

Shawn
 

Dutchie

Active Member
Jun 9, 2013
1,536
3,395
Canada
I think $2500 is pretty steep for just to a little faster processor a little more graphics and games. Will hold off for now and wait for MCU3(?)
 

PamelaRachel

Member
Feb 23, 2019
23
5
Charlotte
I s
Hi PamelaRachael,

There was no email... It was an announcement on March 3, 2020.
See the blog post.
The only thing that has changed is the delivery dates... (Covid-19?)

View attachment 533960

The last group of cars was moved from "Early May" to "Coming Soon."

Shawn
Im looking everywhere I can think to look at all I see is that AP1 cannot be updated due to the lack of cameras. Can you help with a link to where you see it is updatable?
 

ShawnA

Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
908
666
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi @PamelaRachael,

Yes and No...

We can purchase the Infotainment Upgrade.
We have a 2015 S 85 D with AP1.
We are in the group that says "Coming Soon."
Which is NOT AP 2.0 and is NOT AP 2.5

This will NOT DO ANYTHING TO UPGRADE OUR AP - just the displays, games, and prevent
the MCU failure that we are hoping does not fail before we can upgrade...

I could be very wrong here.
I am looking forward to the upgrade for the LTE, faster display, and preventive MCU replacement.

Shawn