New Highland: Tesla Model 3 with blind spot warning, emergency door opening and active hood

Tesla’s commitment to innovation continues with the redesign of the Tesla Model 3, known as the Highland. While the initial goal was to reduce production costs, the recent updates have brought forth exciting new features that enhance both safety and convenience for drivers. In this article, we’ll explore the latest improvements, including blind spot warning, emergency door opening, and the active hood feature.

Tesla Model 3 with blind spot warning
Image: Tesla
  1. Steering Wheel Transformation

In line with the Model S and Model X refresh, Tesla has made significant changes to the steering wheel of the Model 3. The traditional levers on the left and right sides have been removed, replaced by blinking buttons on the steering wheel itself. Gear selection is now automatic or can be done via the central touchscreen. Should the touchscreen fail, there’s a backup option. A new element on the roof lining, just behind the windshield, features buttons for hazard lights and gear selection, including forward, reverse, neutral, and park. This innovative approach not only modernizes the driving experience but also adds redundancy for critical functions.

  1. Manual Unlocking of Rear Doors

Tesla has introduced a convenient feature that allows manual unlocking of the rear doors. Previously, this was only possible for the front doors. To access this feature, users need to remove a cover in the tray and pull on a visible rope. While this door mechanism is similar to the Tesla Model Y, its implementation varies. This enhancement adds an extra layer of accessibility and convenience to the Model 3.

  1. Blind Spot Warning

One notable safety addition to the Model 3 is the blind spot warning system. An indicator on the inside of the A-pillar now lights up when another vehicle is detected in the car’s blind spot. However, it’s essential to note that this feature is currently available only on the driver’s side. Questions have arisen regarding its availability on Model 3s designed for right-hand drive markets. Additionally, it’s worth pondering why Tesla didn’t utilize the newly introduced ambient lighting strip in the cockpit for this function.

  1. Active Hood for Pedestrian Safety

Tesla’s commitment to safety is evident with the introduction of the “active hood” feature in the European version of the Model 3 manual. This feature is not yet included in the American manual. The active hood is designed to automatically raise the rear part of the hood by 8 centimeters when the vehicle is traveling at speeds of approximately 30-52 kilometers per hour. This action is triggered when sensors detect a potential head-on collision with pedestrians. The purpose of this innovation is to reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians in the event of an accident. While Tesla may have made cost-saving adjustments in other areas, this investment in safety showcases the company’s dedication to protecting both occupants and those sharing the road.


The Tesla Model 3 Highland introduces a range of new features that not only enhance convenience for drivers but also prioritize safety on the road. From the streamlined steering wheel controls to the manual unlocking of rear doors and the active hood feature, Tesla continues to push boundaries in the electric vehicle market. While some questions remain about feature availability in different markets, one thing is clear: Tesla is committed to making driving safer and more enjoyable for all.

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