Tesla, Tesla, Tesla. Tesla Motors always seems to be in the news for whatever myriad of reasons. Publicity is publicity, right? Well, sinceSo the Tesla Model S is not a new piece of technology but with how Tesla has taken to upgrading the features, the Model S is more akin to a smartphone than it is to previous cars. So while the hardware hasn’t changed, what has changed on the software side since my first article on the Model S? Quite a bit actually! Let’s get into those new bits!
Well, this is awkward. Physically, nothing has changed on the Model S…so on to what it does! Disclaimer: not all Model S‘s are equipped with the proper hardware for the new features, only the ones made after September 2014.
What It Does
Since the Model S is solely powered by electric components, new software updates can do more than just improve the infotainment center; they can add entirely new features. For example, Autopilot is a new trick where the Model S can “see” the road and drive itself. That’s right, the Model S can become an autonomous car with just a software update. You still need to be in the driver’s seat and it’s generally advised to keep a relatively close eye on the road and it’s not meant for anything other than long stretches of highway but the Model S truly can pilot itself. It will change lanes automatically and react to changing traffic around you, it just can’t handle traffic lights or stop signs.
Another incredibly fancy new quirk of the Model S is the ability to summon it from your phone. Summon, yes, like a willful servant or playful puppy. You can also tell it to park itself. Even more impressive, if you have a garage door opener connected to the garage door via a HomeLink connection, the Model S will open the door, park, and then close the door. Oh, and you can tell it to turn itself around and park in reverse.
Elon Musk is promising fully autonomous driving in two years and it’s amazing to see such tangible results in a consumer product already. These new features are an indication of future car ownership where you might not need to buy a new car to get new features and you might not even need to drive the car at all. This is some serious “I, Robot” stuff.