During Tesla’s Q2 2018 earnings call, Elon Musk stated that the company would attempt to release Software Version 9 to its fleet sometime this September. In a recent tweet, Musk provided more details on the highly-anticipated update’s rollout, stating that Tesla is hoping to release V9 to early access users in a week or two, followed by a wider release towards the end of the month.
Am running it in my car, but it’s not right yet. Hopefully, will release to advanced early access users in a week or two, then more broadly towards end of month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2018
Elon Musk’s update on V9’s release date adjusts the timeline he related for the software in the Q2 earnings call. While addressing a question from Romit Shah of Nomura Securities International about the long-awaited coast-to-coast Autopilot demo, Musk noted that Tesla is hoping to get Software Version 9 out to drivers participating in its early access program in about four weeks, which translated to an estimated initial release sometime late August or early September. Musk further stated then that a wide rollout of Software Version 9 would likely be done sometime in September.
“Yeah, that said, we might be able to pull off coast-to-coast demo before the end of the year if we – but really, like right now, (our) focus (is) on the Version 9 software release which has got some really cool things in it. And we’re hoping to get that out to early access program in about four weeks and then broadly in September. That’s the hardcore focus right now, and that will certainly include some significant advancements in autonomy. And then once that’s out and stable, I think that could be a good time to work on the coast-to-coast drive,” Musk said.
Considering Elon Musk’s update, it appears that the initial V9 rollout for early access users would begin sometime within the second or third week of the month instead. While this translates to a slight delay, the wide release of Software Version 9 to the company’s fleet would likely make it before the end of September nonetheless, which also happens to be the end of the third quarter. Thus, in a way, the slight delay in V9’s release could prove to be a strategic move for Tesla, considering that consumers’ reception to the new software would likely affect the price of the company’s shares.
Tesla, after all, is attempting to produce a record number of Model 3 this quarter. The company has stated that it is aiming to produce 50,000-55,000 Model 3 in Q3, and recent reports indicate that Tesla is on track to meet this goal. If Tesla hits its Model 3 production target this quarter, and if Software Version 9 is positively received, it would not be surprising if Tesla’s stock starts moving upwards after September ends.
Screenshots of Tesla’s Software Version 9. [Credit: Jason Hughes/Twitter]
The anticipation for the release of Software Version 9 is approaching a fever pitch, especially since the update is expected to introduce the first features of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system. A sneak peek of Software V9’s interface emerged earlier this week, and based on some of the images shared online, a new Autopilot feature called Drive On Nav is set to be introduced. The whole UI of Software V9 is also revamped, especially for the Model S and X, which would see a UI similar to that of the Model 3.
The leaked images of Software Version 9 also confirm that Asteroids, a classic Atari game from 1979, would be introduced as an Easter Egg in the upcoming release. Musk previously noted that other Atari games such as Pole Position, Tempest, and Missile Command, will also make it to Tesla’s fleet as Easter Eggs.