Tesla’s Version 10 (V10) firmware is on the horizon and will be released to owners starting as early as August, according to CEO Elon Musk. After the company’s Early Access Program results from V10 are assessed and addressed, a wide release of the firmware will follow.
“Depends on how release to owners with early access goes, but hopefully wide release by end of August,” Musk replied on Twitter to a question about V10’s availability.
Several upcoming V10 features were revealed by Musk on Twitter, including new games, infotainment features, improvements in Autopilot behavior on highways as well as better traffic light and stop sign recognition, and Smart Summon (previously Enhanced Summon). Also mentioned was a feature called “Joe Mode” which would lower the volume of Autopilot warnings and notifications by half. Musk additionally noted that some infotainment features will need a premium connectivity package.
In the same conversation regarding the V10 release, Musk provided an update on the all-electric car maker’s support for in-car video streaming while connected to WiFi. Specifically, when Tesla vehicles are in park, drivers will be able enjoy an old school, drive-in movie experience playing videos hosted by Netflix and YouTube as soon as next month. Musk previously teased the streaming support in early April along with free WiFi while Supercharging.
“Ability to stream YouTube & Netflix when car is stopped coming to your Tesla soon! Has an amazingly immersive, cinematic feel due to the comfy seats & surround sound audio,” Musk announced on Twitter. “[Coming in] Maybe August, not more than a few months.”
Musk emphasized the unique experience the company’s cars offer for movie watchers thanks to the impressive audio system built in to their vehicles. “[It] feels just like an old school drive in movie experience, but with much better sound,” he wrote. Since Tesla is also working towards Full Self-Driving capability, with highway driving features having been available for quite some time already, whether or not video streaming will be possible while on the road was also mentioned. “When full self-driving is approved by regulators, we will enable video while moving,” Musk explained.
While it would make sense for the YouTube and Netflix in-car streaming feature to be included in the V10 package based on Musk’s Twitter comments and the stated timings of the two software updates, it’s possible the two releases will be separate. Following the CEO’s announcement of the in-car video capability, Ryan McCaffrey of Ride the Lightning drew attention to Musk’s prior comments about the feature.
“You’d originally said this was part of software v10. So is v10 coming soon or did these apps get moved up the priority queue? Either way this is very cool news! 😎👍,” McCaffrey asked. Musk’s response seemed to acknowledge the coming release of V10, but didn’t completely clarify whether the streaming would come bundled or separate. “Yes, V10 will include several games & infotainment features, improved highway Autopilot, better traffic light & stop sign recognition & Smart Summon,” Musk replied.
In-car video playback and streaming will be especially advantageous to Tesla owners while traveling on long road trips with several Supercharging stops, and the company’s recent efforts at making the Supercharger experience more enjoyable have been quite notable, specifically in terms of gaming. In addition to the retro-style TeslAtari Easter Egg, a new racing game played with the steering wheel called Beach Buggy 2: Tesla Edition was added last month to replace Pole Position as part of the new Tesla Arcade. This Arcade feature will eventually include Cuphead and a custom Tesla version of Fallout called Fallout Shelter, as described by Musk and video game designer Todd Howard at E3 Coliseum 2019. More recently, Tesla added support for a second controller for Beach Buggy Racing 2 and Chess to the Tesla Arcade, which included a fun video with the announcement.
Altogether, Tesla’s latest and upcoming features are continuing Musk’s mission of creating “the most fun you could possibly have in a car.”