When you buy a Tesla, the only aspect of the vehicle that will age is the body. The software can be continuously updated and yesterday Tesla rolled out a slew of new Autopilot improvements in Version 8.0. About 140,000 Model S and Model X Tesla owners are currently getting a push notification on their car’s 17-inch touchscreen to inform them that new software is available. Let's take a look at what's new in this update:
UI update including a touchscreen that looks flatter - the row of icons across the top, to select between music, maps, or the web browser, is cleaner and more modern. A sharper looking font is now used and phone functions are repped by a smartphone icon, instead of a green handset
The old universal search feature has replaced menu trees for finding songs, stations, or podcasts. Maps is now shown in the top half of the touchscreen, which is the driver’s line of vision - by default
Tesla enlarged the small steering wheel icon that indicates when the Autosteer function is on (this feature keeps the vehicle in the lane on its own)
The system that alerts the driver who takes his hands off the wheel for too long now also has a pulse of white around the instrument cluster along with text and audio warnings. If a driver ignores the warnings more than three times in an hour, you’ll have to pull over and put the car in park to re-engage the auto steering system
Cabin Overheat Protection was also added and is being touted as an “industry-first safety measure” - which uses the vehicle’s battery to keep the interior of the vehicle at a safe temperature for children and pets even when the vehicle is off. On a full battery the cabin can be kept below 105 degrees for up to a year by cycling on the vehicle’s vent and air conditioning functions. Musk promises that the next update will include user-definable maximum and minimum temps, which is good considering 105 degrees is still a dangerous internal cabin temperature.
Musk also mentioned that he will unveil a new solar power roof next month using SolarCity panels, slated for October 28th.
“Tesla makes the only cars on the road that continue to get safer, smarter, and more capable over time, thanks to free, over-the-air software updates,” the company said in a statement.
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