Tesla Cybertruck software update adds a heap of off-road features

Every report about the Tesla Cybertruck makes it more understandable why Tesla had so little to say about its long awaited pickup at the launch event. The automaker says it’s not far away from shipping out another big software update to add features to the electric off-roader, following an OTA package in February. The new code mainly enhances off-road features, but there are some on-road goodies as well. There’s now an Off-Road driving mode with two settings, Overland and Baja. These are the activation and expansion of menus already in the infotainment menu that we found out about in December but that didn’t work and didn’t come with any explanation.  

Cybertruck lead engineer Wes Morrill broke the features down in a series of posts on X. Overland Mode lets the driver set the truck up for the best traction on all kinds of surfaces. New buttons and sliders enable a choice of terrain such as Rock or Sand, whether to activate a brake holding feature or let the truck roll when not on the brakes, three ride heights, activating rear-wheel-steering, locking the differentials, and wading. There’s also a set of digital gauges indicating heading, pitch, and roll in degrees.

Note, Morrill explains the locking differentials as, “On uneven or slippery terrain, if a wheel has limited or no traction, Cybertruck can direct that torque to the opposite wheel.” This sounds more like traction control or torque vectoring to us, or a feature lost in translation because the Cybertruck doesn’t have solid axles, but as long as it gets the truck unstuck, who’s complaining. The front and rear locking e-differentials are a boon for the dual-motor truck; the tri-motor Cyberbeast comes with a variable locking rear that’s always active, and adds the front e-diff. As far as we can tell, the Wade Mode still doesn’t put a number to maximum allowable water height. A graphic explaining the Overland Mode menu only indicates, “Use when navigating through shallow bodies of water.”

In Baja Mode, the Cybertruck is said to have better vehicle balance and “handles more freely when Stability Assist is set to Minimal” as opposed to Standard or Reduced. Called “the equivalent of track mode,” this opens up some high-speed off-road capability, the notes explaining that the mode’s Rugged setting is the best one to use, and there’s a Handling Balance slider to choose which axle does the most work.  

Trail Assist is an off-road cruise control. A camera feed shown at the top of the off-road pages lets passengers swipe through surround-camera views while on the go. And a Cybertent Mode keeps the tonneau cover open and works the suspension to get the truck level, making it easier to get a good night’s rest in the $3,000 overlanding add-on. This also keeps the bed lights and outlets powered on in trucks so equipped.   

For on-road duty, a selectable Slippery Surface terrain control engages the new rear e-diff locker for better traction in slick stuff like ice and snow, but Tesla says it “should only be used temporarily,” without explaining how long is temporary. The adaptive suspension has been tweaked for better estimation of payload weight so it can deliver a better ride. A Vitals page displays data such as battery and motor temperatures and tire pressures. 

At this point, we’re ready to believe it will be a year from the Cybertruck launch before the Cybertruck is finally updated with all of the features buyers expected at the launch. Anyone looking for a deeper download is welcome to check out the 22-page Cybertruck Off-Road Guide with additional info on the new systems. On top of that, a Teslarati report says the automaker’s Spring Release software update could bring even more features to the Cybertruck and other Tesla models.

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