Tesla treats their electric cars like smartphones. New software updates add new features to the car. Is any other car maker doing this to this extent? The new update adds an impressive list of new features.
Tesla Motors unveiled a new over-the-air update for the Tesla Model S cars that add several new powerful features. The new features help with range management, navigation and safety.
The new Range Assurance app is running in the background even when navigation is not in use. In realtime, the app communicates with the network of Tesla Superchargers and destination chargers, discarding any that are in heavy use or inactive and warns drivers before they move out of range.
The Tesla charging network has grown over the past few years to the point where almost the entire United States and Canadian population is within range, as well as northern and western Europe. Tesla Motors says that over the next 12 months, all of Europe and North America (excluding northern Alaska) will be covered, as well as China (apart from low population areas far inland), the Japan main islands and southern Australia.
The Model S navigation system then shows a map of the most convenient charging stations and guides drivers to the closest one. The app also factors in height changes, like having to climb over a mountain pass, and looks up weather and windspeed from the Internet to determine range with extreme accuracy.
The new Trip Planner feature automatically integrates the best charging station into the navigation of your trip. This feature takes away the need to look up charger stations along the way. There is also a new feature that messages drivers once their car has been charged on their smartphone.
The new safety features that are added through the new update include Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning and Side Collision Warning.
Another noteworthy new feature is the Valet Mode. In Valet Mode the Tesla Model S is in a restricted mode, limiting its speed, locking the glove box and trunk. It also hides your personal information in the car computer system.
The next big update (Version 7) will bring the announced Tesla Autopilot functionality. Autopilot combines a forward looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors with real time traffic updates to automatically drive Model S on the open road and in dense stop and go traffic. The Model S will also be able to both detect a parking spot and automatically park itself. Standard equipment safety features are constantly monitoring stop signs, traffic signals and pedestrians, as well as for unintentional lane changes.
the self-steering autopilot feature will only be available on Highway due to safety concerns. The Tesla Autopilot feature is about 3 months away.
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