Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has announced that the biggest update yet to the company’s electric vehicle software has begun to roll out to a limited number of recipients in the US.
There are tons of improvements in the new software update that take the concept of owning a vehicle into another realm, much in the way the iPhone changed what owning a mobile phone meant to consumers.
From new video games to music and movie streaming, to a new alert mode that won’t wake up the kids, to a “feeling lucky” navigation feature that will help you find the best places to eat, this upgrade has many new features it is hard to know where to start.
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
A lot of the features were actually leaked early via a lucky “Early Access Program” (EAP) participant, although that first leak left out one of the biggest additions to the newest V10 upgrade – Smart Summon.
We published more details on that last Thursday, when it came to light that the new upgrade being tested in the early roll out referred to in the leaked notes as Enhanced Summon (beta) would allow a Tesla vehicle owner to “call” its car to pick them up from as far as 65 metres away.
(To clear things up, Enhanced Summon is actually the feature that allows a Tesla vehicle to move in and out of the garage, for example, while Smart Summon can “pick you up”).
Being a beta though, it’s always nice to have the wide release features confirmed officially.
Version 10 includes several games (most notably cult video game Cuphead), the ability to stream videos via Youtube, Hulu and Netflix, listen to music on Spotify, Joe Mode for when the kids are sleeping, Caraoke for those times you need some much needed musical hilarity, as well as improvements to Sentry Mode, maps, lane change visualisations.
We especially like the “Feeling Lucky” features that will send you to a random (but well-reviewed) location for lunch or a local place of interest.
Software Version 10.0: Your brand new Tesla is here.
Buckle up, we have a lot to get through ⬇️
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 26, 2019
Most excitingly, Smart Summon finally becomes available for those who have purchased Full Self Driving (FSD), or Enhanced Autopilot or who have purchased a car more recently since Autopilot has become a standard inclusion.
It will first be available to those with FSD and Enhanced Autopilot in the US, then rolled out to those without FSD or Enhanced Autopilot (but whose car came with standard Autopilot), then rolled out globally.
About a week. Will include slight improvements, based on initial user feedback.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2019
For Model 3 owners, V10 also means that browser access will also finally be enabled.
As for timeline for a global roll out, Musk posted on Twitter overnight (Australian time) that, “We look for rare corner case issues with a limited release US build, then expand internationally as we receive approval from regulatory authorities. So, soon, but hard to say exactly.”
The full list of features as listed by Tesla on its website are:
Get the most out of Model S, Model X, and Model 3 center displays by connecting to your Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu or Hulu + Live TV accounts to watch your favorite shows, movies and content right from your car while parked. For our China-based customers, we’ll be launching with iQiyi and Tencent Video access, and we expect to add more global streaming and entertainment services over time. Additionally, all customers will have access to Tesla tutorial videos to learn more about their vehicle.
With Smart Summon, customers who have purchased Full Self-Driving Capability or Enhanced Autopilot can enable their car to navigate a parking lot and come to them or their destination of choice, as long as their car is within their line of sight. It’s the perfect feature to use if you have an overflowing shopping cart, are dealing with a fussy child, or simply don’t want to walk to your car through the rain. Customers who have had early access to Smart Summon have told us that it adds both convenience to their trips and provides them with a unique moment of delight when their car picks them up to begin their journey. Those using Smart Summon must remain responsible for the car and monitor it and its surroundings at all times.
Our new “Car-aoke” feature lets you sing your heart out with friends on a road trip – or by yourself. Caraoke comes with a massive library of music and song lyrics, with support for multiple languages.
Restaurants & Destinations
Our new “I’m Feeling Lucky” and “I’m Feeling Hungry” navigation features will lead you on an adventure to a local restaurant or point of interest that’s within your car’s range. In testing, we’ve been taken to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, gourmet meals, national parks, city landmarks and more.
We’ve also improved our maps so that your search results will be sorted based on distance to each destination. Owners can also tap on highlighted points of interest, businesses, or search results in the larger map view to see business ratings, start a phone call, or begin navigating to the location.
Music & Podcasts
We’re expanding our music and audio platform to enable Spotify Premium account access in all supported markets – one of the most requested features from Tesla owners. This will be in addition to Slacker Radio and TuneIn, which are also available in Tesla vehicles. We are also launching the Ximalaya service for podcasts and audiobooks in China.
Cuphead, Studio MDHR’s popular run-and-gun action game, is now available in the Tesla Arcade. Traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn super moves, and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to the devil. Using a USB controller, single-player and co-op modes are available to play in the Tesla Edition of Cuphead, which includes the game’s full first level as you play as Cuphead or Mugman.
Security & Convenience
To help make USB storage for our Dashcam and Sentry Mode features easier to manage, video clips taken while your vehicle is being protected by Sentry Mode will now be stored to a separate folder on your USB drive. Older clips will also be automatically deleted if you’re low on storage.
We have also made several UI and options changes available to drivers. One of our favorites is the new “Joe Mode,” which lowers the cabin volume for select alerts such as parking chimes – perfect for when you have sleeping passengers in the rear seats that you don’t want to wake up. Additionally, you can now do even more with your car from your Tesla app with the latest mobile software, including opening and closing your garage door via HomeLink, defrosting your vehicle’s cabin at the maximum temperature, and remotely controlling your Model 3 and Model X windows.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.