Tesla Software Version 10 Makes It More Fun to Be An Idiot With AutoPilot
Tesla has a different view of what “having fun in a car” should mean. Don’t get us wrong, but for the vast majority of gearheads out there, that’s synonymous to actually driving the car and occasionally taking it to the limit. Call us old fashioned, but we don’t see a point in offering your customers the likes of in-car gaming and in-car karaoke since we’re still far, far away from Level 5 autonomous driving. No, Tesla’s Autopilot isn’t that.
As usual, Tesla will deliver the update through its over-the-air system this week, but before you get it, here’s what you should look for. For a better grasp, we’ve grouped the new features based on their purpose.
Tesla V10.0 just started rolling out to all US Tesla owners with FSD option & “advanced download” selected in vehicle software settings
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2019
Entertainment (other than actually driving the car and enjoying that very action
From now on, you’ll be able to connect to your Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu/Hulu+ Live TV accounts using the center display of your Model S, Model X, or Model 3 EV.
Tesla says you can “watch your favorite shows, movies, and content right from your car when parked.” The emphasis, here, of course, is on WHEN PARKED. The carmaker isn’t neglecting its customer base in China, where update version 10 will offer iQiyi and Tencent Video access. Moreover, Tesla is keen to add more global streaming and entertainment services over time. There’s also something useful in all of this: customers will be able to watch Tesla tutorial videos, allowing them to find out more about their cars and how they work.
Well, this is certainly something we did not expect, but Tesla is trumpeting this new feature as one of the highlights of the update. There’s not much we can tell you about it because the name is pretty self-explanatory. In any case, Karaoke or Car-aoke implies a huge music library as well as song lyrics (in multiple languages), so that, according to Tesla, you will “sing your heart out with friends on a road trip - or by yourself.” What happened to old-school singing in the car, though?
Music and podcasts
The big news here is that you’ll be able to access your Spotify Premium account right from your Tesla, provided the region you’re in supports the streaming service.
Tesla says this has been one of the most requested features from its owners, so the company listened. The add-on comes to join the likes of Slacker Radio and TuneIn, which are already available in the Model S, X, and 3.
In similar Apple fashion, you’ll be able to play Studio MDHR’s Cuphead run-and-gun action game within Tesla Arcade. For those unfamiliar with the game, you’ll be jumping from one world to another, find new and better weapons, learn super moves, and of course, defeat bosses - you’ll learn to do that through trial and error, mostly. The game is inspired by the cartoons of the 1930s from Disney and Fleischer Studios and offers two characters: Cuphead and Mugman, which will fight their way to paying back their debt to the devil.
What’s actually useful
Security and convenience
The videos the car takes while in Sentry Mode are now stored to a separate folder on the user’s USB drive. Tesla says that it decided to operate the change in order to “make USB storage features easier to manage.” When low on storage, the system will automatically delete older clips (we imagine this will happen on a chronologically basis). In addition, Tesla also introduced the so-called “Joe Mode.”
In Tesla’s own words, Joe Mode “lowers the cabin volume for select alerts such as parking chimes.”
That is when you’re parking, and the car’s sensors start to bleep, the feature keeps the volume low, so that if there's someone sleeping in the backseat, they won’t get startled and woken up abruptly.
Plus, Tesla says that Dashcam can now record and store footage from the rear-facing camera.
The OTA update to software version 10 is complemented by a tweaked Tesla mobile app, which now lets users open and close their garage door via HomeLink, or defrost the car’s windows at the maximum temperature, or even open/close them from a distance (only available for the Model 3 and Model X).
Restaurants and destinations
The built-in navigation system found on Model S, 3, and X car gets two new functions. These are “I’m Feeling Lucky” and “I’m Feeling Hungry.” Tesla says these will “lead you on an adventure to a local restaurant or point of interest that’s within your car’s range.” The carmaker doesn’t offer more info on the topic, but says that it has tested the new features and during those tests, its drivers were sent to “hole-in-wall restaurants, gourmet meals, national parks, and city landmarks.”
We saved the best for last, although Smart Summon is only available in those cars fitted with the Full Self-Driving Capability or Enhanced Autopilot. What it does is enable cars to automatically navigate through a parking lot to where the driver is. The only condition that has to be fulfilled is that the car is located within the driver’s line of sight, no more than 200 feet (61 meters) away.
Tesla says this comes in handy during those post-shopping moments when you’re carrying an overflowing shopping cart, or the elements work against you, and you don’t want to get wet, for example.
It goes, of course, without saying, that whenever they’re using Smart Summon, owners are responsible for the car and must keep their eyes on it at all times as it may not detect all obstacles.
Tesla also advises owners to keep their car connected to a Wi-Fi network to make sure they get the updates as soon as possible. The updates will be rolled for each car based on the location and vehicle configuration, so there’s no need from a request from the user.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model S.
Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model X.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.