Home » News » Coming Soon – Tesla Model S software v6.2

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Version 6.2 of the Tesla Model S operating system is due out in about a week, though it may take a number of weeks longer than that for all the cars globally to have been updated, so I thought it might be worth taking a look at what to expect from this latest iteration.

Firstly let’s look at the parts of the software update that apply to all the Model S on the road, then we’ll see what to expect from the update for the autopilot enabled cars.

Range Assurance

This has to be one of the most important changes in v6.2, as it is the part that relates specifically to range anxiety and attempts to address the issue. As I understand it range assurance should warn you if it thinks you are trying to drive outside the car’s range from a known charging point, principly the superchargers. This always on application should prevent anyone from knowingly driving the car to empty, winding up stranded at the side of the road.

Although I have no doubt that it may prove useful for those that are new to Model S and possibly help people considering buying one who are concerned that they may run out of power by accident, I’m not convinced that it will actually be all that useful for existing owners. Most of the owners that I’ve spoken to rarely suffer from range anxiety, having already learnt what their cars are capable of and which chargers can be relied upon (superchargers) and which need to be treated with more caution (the rest of them). That said I suppose an extra safety net is always helpful, just not as helpful as extra superchargers or increased range.

Trip Planner

I view this as being quite a good time saver and certainly something that’ll help people to venture out onto the open road for the first time. It attempts to connect the dots between your starting point and eventual destination, using superchargers, giving accurate estimates of how long you’ll need to remain at each charge point. Also it factors into the calculation of route, live data about whether the supercharger is currently being used, offline, etc… the range assurance app also does this by the way. Another change that sits across both the Trip Planner and Range Assurance apps is the ability to calculate the remaining range based on speed limits along the route, topography (changes in elevation), wind direction and weather. The wind and weather information will be downloaded by the car and are the new pieces in the range calculation puzzle. The current software, version 6.1, already takes account of the road types and topography and I’ve found it to be extremely accurate. Certainly it is almost always possible to achieve the estimated power remaining percentage for the end of your journey, though I’ve found that if the weather is bad you may need to moderate your driving speed somewhat.

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For myself however the main point of this new Trip Planner is the ability for long journey planning to finally be no more difficult than it is in an ICE vehicle. Whether that dream is actually realised or not however remains to be seen. Hopefully this summer I’ll get the chance to try it out in anger with a drive across Europe. If I can simply enter an address in Germany and set off without having to give any further thought to range I’ll be mightily impressed.

Valet Mode

Valet Mode has been something that owners have been requesting for sometime now, particularly those in the USA where valet parking is more common than it is in the UK. How often valets actually take their customers’ cars for joy rides I don’t know, but some peace of mind never went amiss. With v6.2 Model S owners can simply put their car in Valet Mode, locking the frunk and glove box, hiding sensitive information and limiting the performance of the car.

Other updates for non-autopilot cars

The software update also includes updated audio codecs and radio tuning changes designed to improve the audio quality of the sound system. I’ve not been particularly blown away with the sound quality of Tesla’s audio system, it is good, but not stunning, so this might help address that, we’ll have to see.

Updates for Autopilot Enabled Cars

The update to v6.2, although it does add some features for autopilot enabled cars, seems more focused on finally achieving a level of usability in a Tesla Model S that customers would expect from a ICE car. However that is not to say that there haven’t been new features added in this release, though they are more of the active safety variety than the drive me home I can’t be bothered to do it myself variety.

The front collision warning system has been expanded to an automatic emergency braking, which should help to reduce the severity of some frontal collisions and help avoid some all together. This is certainly a nice safety feature to have and is something that many other cars in the same class as the Model S already have.

There is also side collision warning and blind spot warning added. So basically the car will now monitor its surrounding and alert you to anything that it thinks could lead to a collision and in the case of collision from the front it will actually take action itself if neccessary. This all sounds like it should make the Model S a substantially safer vehicle to drive or even be near on the road.

The last change mentioned is a refinement of the Traffic Aware Cruise Control. I haven’t actually had the pleasure of trying the Tesla implementation of TACC yet as my Model S is pre-autopilot, but it doesn’t surprise me that they might feel some slight changes were warrented. That said from what I hear the TACC in the Model S is second to none. Hopefully I’ll get to try it out in a curtesy car while mine is in for its next service.

The next software update after this one, version 7.0, promises to be more interesting for the autopilot enabled cars, as it is supposed to finally add the lane keeping assist, which probably just means that the car will warn you that you are drifting out of lane to begin with. Shortly after that however you can expect to see Teslas driving down the motorway with drivers not having anything left to do but keep an eye on the traffic! That would certainly make the long journeys that the Trip Planner is suppose to make easier, much less tiring.

Sources: Tesla Motors official blog, Tesla Motors conference call on the v6.2 release


One thought on “Coming Soon – Tesla Model S software v6.2

  1. Yes, it will work on laminate and vinyl surfaces.

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