Elon Musk is introducing some James Bond style upgrades.
Massive new features are coming to the Tesla Model S this year, with an update that will “end range anxiety” to be rolled out in a few weeks, followed by a comprehensive software update that will transform the Model S into a self-driving car that can be summoned by your smartphone. Range Assurance is the first feature Elon Musk announced as part of the Version 6.2 over-the-air software update. Essentially, it’s an app that talks with the Supercharger network and parking-spot chargers in your vicinity, while keeping an eye on your battery.
When juice is low, it will provide of a list of the nearest places to recharge, and will warn you if your heading on a trip without enough juice to make it to a charging facility. It will then guide you to the nearest spot if the driver so desires. Musk said the new feature will make it “basically impossible for a Model S driver to run out of range unintentionally,” and will also factor in the likes of temperature, traffic flow and headwinds to ensure an accurate estimate of battery range. For long-distance trips, Tesla has introduced Trip Planner. This new bit of kit will help Model S drivers to factor in the location of Superchargers and calculate the best route to the intended destination, indicating where and for how long you’ll have to stop to charge along the way.
With range anxiety dealt with, Tesla will next focus on making the Model S autonomous. Later this year, Version 7 will be sent out to Model S drivers. It will include Tesla’s Autopilot program, offering a semiautonomous mode in the form of Auto Steer that will take over the steering when “on a highway or major road,” and will even drive itself to your front door upon command. Unfortunately, the feature’s not legal so it will only work on private land. That still means you can get the car to drive to your front door and get it to drive itself to the garage after dropping you off. Bet you wish you owned a Tesla now.