I now know when it is likely that I will have a heart attack. It will be when I’m walking, unsuspectingly, on the sidewalk and a Tesla happens to honk using the most terrifying sound I’ve heard in weeks: a bleating goat. Now, I’ve looked up videos of other goats bleating, and they do not scare me. In fact, they’re kind of cute. But the Tesla goat sounds like it is bleat screaming, and it is very alarming.
The bleat is part of the company’s holiday software update that allows users to use a new “Boombox” mode to change the sound of their horns to sounds like fart, posh, applause, tada, goat, or “La Cucaracha,” among others. But if Tesla owners don’t like any of those options, they can also upload up to five custom sounds via a USB. Besides changing the sound of the horn, Boombox essentially does what its name says: It turns the car into a boombox when parked and allows users to play songs on the car’s external speakers.
According to the software update’s release notes, which are explained in detail by the folks over at Teslarati, Boombox can also be used in other instances.
“Turn your car into a boombox and entertain a crowd with your media player when parked. You can also customize the sound your car makes when you press the horn, drive the car or when your car is moving with Summon,” the notes read. “Select an option from the dropdown menu or insert your own USB device and save up to five custom sounds.”
You can check out some of the sounds in the video below from Tesla Owners Online. The bleat scream is there.
Not all Teslas will be able to use the feature, though, at least right now. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who unsurprisingly loves these kinds of features, said on Twitter that only cars with external pedestrian speakers installed will be getting the Boombox mode update. All Tesla cars manufactured after Sept. 1, 2019 have these speakers installed in order to comply with rules set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which requires electric and hybrid cars to emit a sound at up to 19 mph (30 kph) to protect pedestrians.
Tesla’s holiday update also included additional improvements to the car’s other fart feature: Emissions Testing Mode. This feature allows users to play a variety of fart sounds from different seats in the car as well as substitute the turn signal noise for a fart. The company’s new update allows owners to use Emissions Testing Mode outside the car, basically allowing it to fart at any time through the car’s external speakers.
Alas, debuting new fart features to only some of your customers apparently leaves the others longing for the ability to fart. Case in point: The Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley Club asked Musk on Twitter if owners with older models without external speakers could get them installed in order to use Boombox.
A kind reminder that all humans have this ability, but I’m getting the impression that it must be much better in a car.