Tesla Thinks Software Updates Can Fix The Yoke Steering Wheel

Technology / 22 Comments

The updates also improve cold weather traits in the model S.

Ever since Tesla debuted its yoke steering wheel, the design has been a hot topic of discussion. From casual observers to authorities like Consumer Reports, it's been all too easy to find issues with the yoke steering wheel. Of course, these controversies have not stopped the EV automaker from selling a record number of cars this year.

In what appears to be an attempt to alleviate some of the yoke's obvious shortcomings, Tesla has started pushing a new software update to the Model S sedan. Dubbed version 2021.36, Electrek reports that the update includes features that will enhance the use of the yoke steering wheel as well as cold weather improvements for the battery. You can now also improve the interior air quality before entering your Model S.

2017-2021 Tesla Model S Driving Front Angle Tesla
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Driving Back View Tesla

Notably, Tesla decided that indicator stalks were superfluous not too long ago in addition to introducing the yoke steering wheel.

"Your turn signals will now automatically turn off when the vehicle detects a merge, fork, or lane change maneuver has been completed," said information from Tesla. "If an upcoming navigation event is detected in the direction of the turn signal, or if the vehicle detects a subsequent lane change, the turn signal will not turn off until the maneuver is complete. Turn signals will always latch when pressed."

To manually activate the turn signals, you have to use Tesla's force touch buttons placed on the steering wheel. Tesla says that turn signals will cancel depending on the steering handle. This applies regardless of the settings for the automatic turn signals. Model S owners can now also press and hold the buttons to activate high beams or the wipers.

2017-2021 Tesla Model S Dashboard Tesla
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Infotainment System Tesla

To account for cold weather conditions, the battery will "precondition for a faster charge" when navigating to a Supercharger in cold weather. Other improvements in cold weather conditions include the ability to heat the cabin faster, automatically heat the seats via the app, and windshield wipers that adjust to the speed of the vehicle to more effectively clear salt and grime.

Finally, Bioweapon Defense Mode - which we can only assume Elon Musk named himself - can remove harmful particulates from the interior before you get into the car. The latest update has begun rolling out to the Model S in the US. Whether these improvements work as well in practice as they do on paper remains to be seen.

2017-2021 Tesla Model S Interior Overview Tesla
Source Credits: Electrek

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2017-2021 Tesla Model S Infotainment System
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Dashboard
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Interior Overview
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Driving Back View
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Driving Front Angle

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