Tesla Is Granted a Patent for Its Rotating Screen in the Model S

Tesla’s pivoting screen in the Model S and Model X vehicles has officially been granted a patent.

The patent, called “Dual axis rotational mechanism,” is for the screen in Tesla’s premium Model S and Model X vehicles. The device allows users to tilt the screen slightly so it’s easier to read, see, and use for either the driver or passenger.

Automotive engineer Sandy Munro and his team tore down the Model S Plaid earlier in 2022. During this teardown, Munro’s team uncovered the hidden mechanism that would eventually be used to rotate the screen.

However, the device that was installed in Munro’s Model S Plaid was lacking in a few features in order to be fully functional. The team did a deeper dive into what the mechanism was and modified it to showcase how it would function in the Model S and Model X in the future.

The missing parts in Munro’s Model S Plaid mechanism meant that Tesla would eventually improve upon the part in the future.

The US Patent Office published Tesla’s “Dual axis rotational mechanism” on November 24, 2022. The patent was originally filed six months prior on May 16, 2022, as well as an earlier version of the patent from 2021.

“The display device is mounted on a rotation mechanism that facilitates a dual-axis rotation utilizing a single actuator, dual rotation joints, and associated linkages,” reads the patent. “The rotation component further includes at least one additional floating joint that provides additional tension forces relative to a third axis. Still further, in accordance with further embodiments, a control component can be utilized to generate control signals relating to rotation of the single actuators, such as establishing control positions and duty cycles.”

Since Munro’s initial teardown, Tesla has since implemented the tilting screen on later versions of the Model S and Model X. With all the ‘cool’ technology that Elon Musk has talked about going into the Cybertruck, we wouldn’t be surprised if this feature makes an appearance in that vehicle as well.

The Cybertruck frame has recently been found at a Tesla facility and Tesla is still aiming for production to begin in just about six months.

A look at Apple Music's audio quality

Apple Music may be available in Tesla’s new holiday update, but don’t expect the lossless audio quality that Apple Music subscribers enjoy… at least not yet.

Tesla owner and software developer Dan Burkland recently performed some tests on the audio quality that Tesla’s in-car streaming services TIDAL, Spotify, and now Apple Music stream at in the vehicle.

Burkland tested TIDAL previously on a different Tesla software version, but with Tesla’s ever-changing software and the rollout of the holiday update he chose to run the tests again.

Setup and Songs Used to Test

He connected his Model Y to his home’s WiFi network and used a DHCP reservation, which allowed him to have the vehicle use a specific IP address. He then installed ntopng on his OPNsense firewall to monitor traffic statistics for the vehicle. After zeroing out the host stats for the Model Y, he tested a total of nine songs, including “Purple Rain” by Prince, “Foreplay” by Boston, and “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin.


The results of Burkland’s tests concluded that TIDAL still offers the best listening experience. The average bitrate for TIDAL was ~1165 kbps. This isn’t entirely too shocking, as TIDAL has always championed the highest-quality audio streaming experience.

Surprisingly, Spotify’s audio quality came in ahead of Apple Music to nab second place. Burkland’s tests showed Spotify streaming at an average bitrate of ~157 kbps, while Apple Music came in at a subpar ~118 kbps.

Burkland added that he believes Apple Music is limiting bitrate for the in-car app, but a future update to Tesla’s software will hopefully resolve this. If Tesla can enable lossless streaming for Apple Music, it’ll give TIDAL a run for its money in high-fidelity streaming via the in-car app.

Check out some of Dan’s test results below, or for a complete list view his Reddit thread.

So Many Tears by 2Pac Young Lust by Pink Floyd Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen
Length (MM:SS) 3:59 3:30 4:05
Length (Seconds) 239 210 245
Est. Data Transfer @ 96 Kbps (MB) 2.80 2.46 2.87
Est. Data Transfer @ 128 Kbps (MB) 3.73 3.28 3.83
Est. Data Transfer @ 160 Kbps (MB) 4.67 4.1 4.79
Est. Data Transfer @ 192 Kbps (MB) 5.60 4.92 5.74
Est. Data Transfer @ 256 Kbps (MB) 7.47 6.56 7.66
Est. Data Transfer @ 320 Kbps (MB) 9.34 8.2 9.57
Est. Data Transfer @ 1411 Kbps (MB) 41.17 36.17 42.2
Apple Music (MB) 4.10 3.20 4.80
Apple Music (Bitrate – Kbps) 140.53 124.83 160.50
Spotify (GB) 6.70 5.80 2.90
Spotify (Bitrate – Kbps) 229.65 226.26 96.97
Tidal (MB) 27.40 21.50 30.50
Tidal (Bitrate – Kbps) 939.17 838.70 1019.82

Other Tesla Owners Are Running Similar Tests

Reddit user u/OverlyOptimisticNerd ran similar tests with a slightly different configuration. They used an iPhone 14 as a mobile hotspot, Hotspot Monitor Data Usage from Apple’s App Store, and 2019 Model 3 running version 2022.44.25.1.

During their tests, they observed the same pattern across all songs, citing that a bunch of data rolled in at the beginning of the tests and then slowly trickled through. The low data rate for Apple Music appears to align with the company’s HE-AAC codec at 64 kbps.

“It appears to buffer most or even all of the song, then pause between tracks to do it again,” writes u/OverlyOptimisticNerd. “On average, I saw ~2MB per track, with ~1.7MB during the initial burst and ~0.3MB throughout the track. This is consistent with the HE-AAC standard, as most of these songs were a little over 3 minutes in length.”

While Apple Music may come in at the lowest average bitrate of all three services tested, it’s important to note that it doesn’t necessarily mean it has the lowest quality. Audio quality comes down to a variety of factors, some of which are the bitrate used, whether it’s variable and the codec efficiency.

Apple Music’s HE-ACC codec is optimized for low-bandwidth applications meaning that it can outperform an ACC-encoded file in lower-bandwidth situations. In the real-world Apple Music in your Tesla should sound very similar to streaming music from Spotify, but not as good as TIDAL’s offerings.

Tesla's vehicles are well-equipped for winter temperatures.

Teslas are among the most efficient electric vehicles in cold weather, according to a Recurrent study.

Cold weather often affects the range of electric vehicles due to two reasons. The colder weather alters the battery’s chemistry slightly; therefore, the range is decreased. The decreased range could mean some owners may have to modify their trips in the winter months when compared to warmer seasons.

Electric Vehicle Heaters

However, the biggest contributor to the decreased range for electric vehicles is due to heat production. Since electric vehicles are much more efficient than their internal combustion counterparts, they produce very little excess heat. Whereas heat is a byproduct of gasoline engines and can be funneled into the cabin to heat the passengers, electric vehicles need to produce additional heat to keep their passengers comfortable.

Resistive Heaters

This is typically done in two ways, either through electric resistance heating or through a heat pump. A resistive heater is like a space heater you may use at home. Electric current passes through wires causing them to heat up and the heat is then blown into the room.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are more complicated and work much differently than resistive heaters, however, they’re also more efficient in most cases. They work by using outside air to warm up a refrigerant that is then pressurized to increase the temperature of the refrigerant. The refrigerant then flows to the inside of the cabin where the vehicle air passes through it, causing it to warm up and flow into the cabin. While heat pumps are much more efficient when compared to electric heaters, that efficiency is reduced the colder it is outside.

Which Teslas Have Heat Pumps

All newer Teslas use heat pumps instead of resistive heaters due to their increased efficiency. All redesigned Model S and Model X vehicles use heat pumps, as well as all Model Ys. However, some Model 3 vehicles between 2017-2020 use resistive heaters to warm the cabin, which makes them less efficient in colder months.

Find Out Your Type of Heater

If you don’t know whether your Tesla has a heat pump or a resistive heater, you can find out by simply looking at your car’s software. Your vehicle’s heater type will be listed if you navigate to Controls > Software and then tap on Additional Vehicle Information.

Due to Tesla’s unique heating system and its efficiencies, Recurrent found that Tesla vehicles hold some of the best range among electric cars. So, Tesla owners may not have to make as many modifications to their commutes. They’re able to manage this because of their state-of-the-art battery technology, as well as using localized heating through heated seats, steering wheel, and cabin, as well as their advanced heat pumps.

Tesla's vehicles are well-equipped for winter temperatures.

A new study published by Recurrent pulled data from 7,000 electric vehicles from the 14 most popular brands, including Audi, BMW, Hyundai, and Tesla. The data for each vehicle was gathered via the onboard telemetry and real-time usage. The vehicles were used in freezing (20-30 degrees F) temperatures and warm 70° F. As temperatures drop below 50° F, heat pumps start becoming less efficient.

Recurrent’s findings concluded that Tesla’s Long Range AWD Model Y and Model X 75D lost 15%, while the Long Range Model 3 with 75kWh battery lost 17%, and Model S P100D lost 19%. Compared to the Chevy Bolt, which lost 32%, and Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, which lost 30%, Tesla’s vehicles appear to be better equipped for cold weather. Unfortunately, Recurrent tested older Teslas that did not contain heat pumps, which means that Teslas numbers would have been even better if Recurrent used newer models. Even so, Tesla had some of the best performing vehicles.

Comparing Heat Pumps vs Resistive Heaters in Teslas

As Tesla continues to make improvements to its vehicles, their battery supplier, CATL, recently announced they’ve produced a battery that offers 430 miles of range.


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