Pole Position, anyone?
Elon Musk loves putting Easter eggs into Tesla's infotainment systems referencing his love of movies and video games. You can change the picture on the central display screen into the James Bond's Lotus submarine, and Tesla's programmers even added a mode that makes the display look like Rainbow Road from Mario Kart. In a few weeks, Tesla's next major software update will be rolled out for the Model 3, Model S and Model X with yet more video game-related easter eggs. This time, however, Musk has taken this a step further.
On Twitter, the CEO confirmed Version 9.0 will feature classic Atari video games as easter eggs playable on the dash-mounted touchscreen. Musk didn't specify which games will be hidden in the update, but said he hopes Pole Position, Missile Command and Tempest will be included. Pole Position, a Formula One racer originally released in arcades in 1982 before being ported to Atari home consoles, could even be controlled using the steering wheel. Obviously, this will only be possible when the car is parked.
There won't just be novelty features, either. Tesla will also release a new Autopilot interface as part of the Version 9 update, which could potentially offer Level 3 autonomous driving upgraded from Level 2, meaning drivers will finally be able to take their hands off the wheel in certain conditions. This would allow Tesla to compete with Audi's Traffic Jam Assist, which already offers Level 3 self-driving technology in certain regions.
After many requests, Musk also said he will try to make it possible to initiate updates from the Tesla mobile app with the new version. A "party and camper" mode will also be added that keeps systems such as audio systems, power devices, temperature control, air flow and selective lighting active while parked for 48 hours. Musk confirmed Version 9.0 is coming in around four weeks, so we should find out more details throughout August.