by Morton E. . Dec 21, 2023

Tesla Turns the Corner: Upgraded Model 3 Highland To Get Adaptive Headlights -- In Europe, At Least

Image Credit: Tesla

After years of speculation and anticipation, Tesla is finally adding adaptive headlights to its vehicles -- but there's a twist. The feature, dubbed "Adaptive Main Beam" in European certification documents that were shared in Germany's TFF Forum, has been approved for the upgraded Model 3, better known among electric car fans as Project Highland. The feature will be released through an over-the-air software update.

This marks a significant shift for Tesla, which has lagged behind many competitors in offering this advanced headlight technology. Unlike standard headlights that rigidly illuminate the road ahead, adaptive headlights swivel based on steering input, projecting light onto the intended path and improving visibility around corners, according to Drive Tesla.

The documents shared in the TFF Forum hint at potential exclusivity for the Model 3 Highland, marked in the document as "Model 3H." The document also references the previous generation Model 3 and Model Y, but no explicit mention is made of adding the feature to existing vehicles that are equipped with Tesla's LED matrix headlights, which were introduced since 2020. 


It remains to be seen if older generation Model 3s and Model Ys will also get adaptive headlights, but it might be likely since the vehicles are equipped with LED matrix headlights. The Model S and Model X, Tesla's two flagship cars today, also received headlight upgrades last year, so both vehicles may also receive adaptive headlights down the road.

While adaptive headlights seem to be coming soon for Europe, drivers in the United States will have to wait some time for their turn since the feature is not as widely used in the US. In Europe, adaptive headlights have been around for more than a decade, so they're everywhere now.

The long-awaited arrival of adaptive headlights on the Model 3 Highland, albeit with potential limitations, marks a turning point for Tesla. Whether the feature proves to be a broader shift towards wider availability or remains exclusive to the Model 3 Highland, adaptive headlights are a welcome addition that hopefully paves the way for brighter journeys for Tesla drivers in the future.

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