Media control unit

Media Control Unit or MCU is the main screen in your Tesla. Currently, there are two versions of Tesla’s Media Control Unit: MCU 1 and MCU 2. How to know which MCU version your car came with? Easy. All Model 3 come with MCU 2. For Model S and Model X, if you purchased your car after March 2018 it came with MCU 2, and if you purchased it before that date, it came with MCU 1.

If you’re still not sure which MCU version you have, here’s a couple of tips:

  • When doing a restart of the car using the two side wheels of the wheel drive, if you have MCU 1 only the MCU will restart, whereas if you have MCU 2, both the MCU and the IC (Instrument Cluster) will restart.
  • Check out Tesla Tap MCU tester

Blog posts related to Media control unit

My first experience at a Tesla Service Center

October 16, 2019

Today I had my first experience at a Tesla Service Center (in Berkeley, CA) and I have to say that I am really impressed with Tesla’s customer service. Want to know why? Keep reading.

Tesla MCU1 and MCU2: main differences

October 12, 2019

Tesla’s Media Control Unit or MCU is the main screen in the car and it determines some of the new features your car can get. Since we have a Model S that we purchased in 2017, we have MCU1. In this blog post, we will try to answer the following questions:

Tesla V10 and MCU 1

October 1, 2019

Last week Tesla started rolling out V10 to its fleet, but there are still quite a few Tesla owners who don’t have it. I’m seeing and getting quite a few questions about what upgrades you get if you have Media Control Unit version 1 (MCU 1), so I decided to summarize what I know in this blog post. If you have unanswered questions, please let me know and I’ll add them here. Here we go.

Past Tesletter articles

2018.42 is here and brings 'Navigate on Autopilot' and the ability to put the camera at the top

Since v9 was release there has been a lot of Model S and Model X owners complaining about Tesla removing the ability to split the screen between any two apps. According to several reports, 2018.42 just started to roll out and introduces the ability of moving the rear camera view, as well as other apps, to the top while showing the media player. While this isn’t the split screen abilities that folks were asking to get back, it is clearly a step in the right direction.

At the same time, Electrek has reported that 2018.42 is releasing «tesla navigate on autopilot» to the masses. It seems that the released version requires user input - we assume that pulling the AP stalk as in previous versions - to initiate the suggested lane change. As this feature is being polished more and more we assume that Tesla will release the ability to do these lane changes without driver confirmation at some point 🤞.

Read more: Reddit

From issue #30

3 simultaneous apps on V9, woot?!

It clearly seems like an unintended feature (A.K.A. bug) because it goes away if you then start the navigation, of if you don’t have the camera up and start backing up. But one can only dream that Tesla would bring something like that to the Model S and Model X, this would be superior to the previous «split screen» if they let people re-arrange them.

From issue #29

How easy would be to upgrade and MCU1 to MCU2?

A while ago Elon said that MCU1 cars could upgrade to MCU2 in the future. Today we’re still waiting as this may or may not happen. When I first read about it I thought why not, at the end of the day it’s just a computer upgrade, but Tozz explains what it actually means:

The MCU2 upgrade requires the following changes:

  • Obviously, a new MCU2 (expensive part!)
  • New IC screen. In MCU1 cars the IC (screen behind wheel) is a separate computer with its own CPU/RAM/etc. With MCU2 its just a second screen to the MCU. So IC needs to be replaced.
  • MCU2 has 5G WiFi that needs an additional antenna to the mirrors
  • MCU2 has Bluetooth in the mirrors, and it also requires additional antenna
  • New wiring harness. IC screen, antenna’s, and perhaps change of connectors requires a new wiring harness

Read more: TMC Forum

From issue #28

MCU retrofit (both via hardware and software)

Elon Musk says it’ll be possible to upgrade MCU both via hardware upgrade, although they wrote software to accelerate rendering on old MCU.

Read more: Twitter.com

From issue #1

MCU yellow border, fixed

Bonnie just had the opportunity of experiencing the new tool that Tesla is testing out to fix the yellow border problem - this is a somewat common problem for MX and MS. According to her, not all centers have the tool and it seems her SC got it just temporaly. As you can see in the pictures, it worked like a charm for her.

Read more: TMC Forum

From issue #66

MCU1 Pole Position, Breakout and joystick support

We already reported greentheonly’s findings about Pole Position and Breakout included in MCU1. Some people speculated that they weren’t disabled because it’s «slow» and Tesla wouldn’t do it otherwise. Here is a video proving that it actually plays flawlessly.

From issue #40

Model 3 just updated to 2018.10.5 and has lots of new features

Release notes include:

  • Automatic braking maximum speed increased from 50 to 90 mph.
  • Unlocking with phone - now must grab handle for it to unlock.
  • Rearranged touchscreen icons by switching the left vent icons with the music and cell phone icons on the right.
  • Heated backseats controlled through the AC icon.

Read more: Reddit.com

From issue #1

New chromium based browser is only for MCU2 in 19.12

As we said above, 2019.12 brings an improved browser to our Teslas. However, it turns out it is not for all Teslas -at least for now- but only the ones running MCU2 :(

Read more: Twitter

From issue #54

Running Unreal Engine 4 inside the newest browser update (2019.12.1.1)

2019.12.1.1 brings a better browser for MCU 2 and someone just tested a render of the Unreal Engine 4 on it. This is the browser executing JavaScript that renders it in real time, not a video. Honestly, this is one of the dorkest and coolest things that I’ve seen in a while!

From issue #57

T2018.14 is out and introduces improvements in the browser

While there are no release notes changes, people have been reporting differences in the Tesla’s web browser. The user-agent of the browser for MCU 1 cars now matches the MCU 2 cars and is capable of rendering pages that weren’t rendering before.

Read more: TMC Forums

From issue #3

Tesla Chrome Remote Desktop

Tesla just updated their browser on MCU2 cars and people are looking at what can be done. This is an example of Tesla’s new web browser running Chrome Remote Desktop which basically allows the Tesla bowser accessing another computer securely over the Internet.

From issue #58

Tesla is working on the upgrade for MCU1

It’s been around a year since the first time Elon mentioned that it was possible to retrofit old cars with MCU1 and get MCU2, but every time I’ve asked the service center, they told me this is something that Tesla doesn’t offer. If you have been a subscriber of this newsletter for some time or have been following us on Twitter, you probably know that I own a Model S 75 from Dec 2017. Tesla started shipping MCU2s in the Model X and S in March 2018, so I’m on the bucket of interested people. It’s good to hear that Tesla is actively working on it!

Read more: Twitter

From issue #80

The definitive fix for yellow borders in the main screen is here

If you own a Model S or Model X you probably have heard about the screen in the MCU yellow borders. Most theories indicate that it’s caused by the reflection of the sun on the chrome border of the screen and a glue that Tesla uses to attach the screen that turns yellow with heat. The thing is, months ago Tesla stopped replacing the screens with this problem and told folks that they were working on a new solution, this time a permanent one. Earlier this week, Tozz from TMC reported to be one of the first people to get the new replacement in his Model S, hoping that people don’t have to deal with this issue anymore!.

Note that this a screen replacement and not an MCU replacement, so if your car has this issue you won’t be getting MCU 2 or any other upgrades on that front.

Read more: TMC Forum

From issue #57

This is how the UI of Tesla looked back in June 2014

Evmom shared a few pictures of the Tesla menus back in June 2014. I’m not sure what you folks think but I’m definitely on the side that is happier with flat UIs, thanks Apple for changing the trend!

Read more: Twitter

From issue #43

Tilted Tesla touchscreen - Model 3

Brian from i1Tesla shows us an accessory to tilt the screen of the Model 3. Brian always has crazy mods like this one!

From issue #83

Unconfirmed: MCU2 required for HW3 upgrade

A handful of owners have reported receiving HW3 upgrades, coincidentally all of them have MCU2. Now the rumor started on Reddit that you need MC2 in order to have HW3, all this based on one owner with MCU1 who had his Autopilot processor replaced and got called to go back to get the change reverted. We don’t know if this is true but let us know if you know more!

REad more: Reddit

From issue #85

Vector maps in MCU 1 car with 2018.24

This new version seems to be a bit slower according to chillaban.

Read more: TMC Forum

From issue #14