No Home Run, Tesla Emphasizes Software Updates at Press Conference


Tesla Firmware 6.2 will route drivers using the Supercharger network. Image source: Tesla Motors

Elon Musk just finished his press conference and the big reveal was a “range assurance application” that continuously talks to multiple superchargers and knows their use status at all times. No huge surprise was provided in terms of any “found” range via the car’s power electronics and, overall, seemed to be the debut of a more formal PR process from the Silicon Valley automaker.

This new range-assurance feature will also take into into account of weather conditions and topography, something discussed in a recent post on Teslarati. According to Musk, the “car looks up a real-time list of superchargers every 30 seconds and communicates with possible Tesla superchargers.”

It will also provide alerts to drivers and alleviate any range anxiety. Musk adds the feature will make it nearly impossible to run out of range. This will be part of the 6.2 software update, to be released in approximately ten days.

The second announcement included a trip planner feature, which is part of the  navigation system (Tesla option), according to Seeking Alpha. This will offer you the “best route for your trip while identifying the best charging opportunities on your route,” according to Transport Evolved’s Live Blogging.

Other press conference comments include:

  • Musk says,”X is coming out this summer and has some improvements, it’s a better car than you’ve seen so far.”
  • Hints that the 7.0 software release will have a new User Interface, the ability to self-park at home and auto-steering capabilities on major roads and highways.
  • More auto-steering: Musk intimated, in the near-term, that it doesn’t drive for you and would help in moments of distraction.
  • Musk says 200+ real-world miles is the baseline needed for electric car driving.

To me, this seems like a shift in Tesla PR strategy direction and to cast a wider net to the public on over-the-air software updates for cars. Smart move. The idea that a car can receive additional benefits after its bought is not a mainstream thought. This new PR strategy also points to the need for bigger demand for the Model S in 2015.

What are your thoughts on the press conference? Usefule features, but we’re expecting more? Let us know….

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