Tesla claims Software 9.0 represents "the most substantial update yet."
Tesla has added a slew of new updates to the Model 3, Model S, and Model X as part of the new Software 9.0 update. Billed as “the most substantial update yet,” Software 9.0 adds a refined and simplified user interface along with new safety updates that make its cars “smarter, safer and more intuitive than ever before.”
As always, the update is installed over the air by connecting to the car’s WiFi, but thanks to the new updated Tesla app these software updates can now be initiated remotely, meaning you no longer need to be inside the car to start an update. This has been a long-requested feature, so its inclusion in Software 9.0 is very welcome.
The Tesla mobile app can also now be used to send a destination to your car’s navigation and access media controls. To make navigation easier, a new app launcher brings every app into one place, including Calendar, Energy, Web Browser, Rear View Camera, Phone and Charging. Three new apps have also been added to the Model 3 that enable web-browsing capabilities, calendar integration with mobile devices, and the ability to monitor energy consumption in real-time or view the projected energy use for an upcoming trip.
For Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles built with Hardware 2.5 (introduced in August 2017), Tesla has added the ability to record and store video captured from the forward-facing camera when the car is in use. These can then be stored on a flash drive inserted into a free front-row USB port, though you’ll need at least 1.8 GB of free space.
The climate control menu has also been simplified, as controls for cold weather features in Model S and Model X including rear seat heaters, steering wheel heater, and wiper heater can now be accessed in one place. The driver can press and hold to turn climate on or off without needing to open the full climate menu. In the Model 3, the temperature can be easily adjusted with one touch by swiping temperature control setting to the left or right. A new 3D visualization of the dashboard shows how air is flowing into the cabin, allowing you to precisely direct the channels of air.
In the coming months, Tesla will be expanding its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system with Navigate on Autopilot active guidance, which can guide a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp by suggesting lane changes, navigating highway interchanges and taking exits. It will initially only be available in data-logging form, but a beta will be released in the US once validation is complete.
Finally, Tesla has added some playable classic Atari arcade games hidden in the infotainment system. The automaker hasn’t specified which games are included in the update, but Elon Musk previously said he wanted to add Pole Position, Missile Command and Tempest to Software 9.0. Obviously, these games are only playable when the car is in Park.