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Just announced is a large update to Tesla Model S software.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/software-v60

Something we owners of "head in the sand" manufacturers can only dream about.

Whilst I have followed Kevin's cell pack woes with interest and certainly do not understand the Tesla stance on that, it is interesting that the "new kid on the block" Tesla does in other areas think "out of the box" with their free software updates which do tend to fix all sorts of bugs and wish lists.

I fully understand that any software update in the auto industry has to be fully tested which is expensive, the main fixes we all continually chat about are generally where annoying features are allowed to be disabled and nothing to do with the operation of the car when moving.
Charge beep being one of them! Why not flash the indicators? Its amazing that initial trials did not have that annoying feature at the top of the list.
Navigation not accepting postal codes is another. I see that the map update is over £200. Does that give the post code facility? All navigation software is purchased from external companies so how is it that the sat nav is so poor. It has a nice English girls voice which goes up an octave when announcing road names. So funny.
 

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Agreed... Tesla do have the advantage that they're coming at this from clean, i.e. they haven't got existing big-company systems in place which tend to greatly slow down and stifle things like updates and new features unfortunately. Their can-do attitude is superb and no-one from any established manufacturer has a hope of matching it. They also have the advantage that they have access to Silicon Valley which has an enormous number of unfeasibly brainy people around - let's be honest, given the choice of working for GM or Ford, or Tesla, who would you rather work for?

Navigation in most cars is fairly dismal as the problem is they don't tend to buy in systems from the likes of Garmin and TomTom; instead they buy in some half-finished stuff and then make a complete hash of integrating it with the systems for the rest of the car. With the average infotainment development lifecycle being about 5 years, they haven't got a hope of being up to date. Renault had the right idea, with a slot-in panel on the dashboard for a standard TomTom!
 

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The sat-nav stuff is entirely down to the Manufacturer and not the OEMs. They take a good unit from an OEM and make them take all the good stuff out, so you end up with a POS system.

The system in the my smart fortwo for example, the underlying bosch unit would have been fantastic had Mercedes not forced them to take out digital outputs, TMC, large CPU, high-res screen. You then end up with an under-specc'd and under powered unit running software for the original better unit, my inner cynic says this was motivated by the smart unit out performing the COMMAND system. Nobody wins.

In terms of OTA updates, I am very much in two minds about this. Tesla can do it now because they only have 1 model to support, and not that much variation. Going forward it becomes a really hard problem to solve (not to say it isn't solvable)

Also the old model of taking cars into dealers equally becomes unsustainable when you car is almost entirely software defined - I think there will a happy medium reached at some point where most components can be updated OTA, but certain high-safety things will end up being strictly off limits. I also think the days of £600 map update discs is going to come to end too (but I might be abit too optimistic on this)

ATM its a massive advantage to Tesla they can proclaim "in a years time your car will have more features than now". But if it ever goes wrong it will hurt them big time.
 

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Very well said Jack, completely agree... We had a Citroen DS3 rental car, brand new, in Austria a few months back - lovely little car to drive, beautiful stylish graphics on the touchscreen display... dismal satnav, woefully slow to run. It took over two minutes for the satnav to start up! As Jack says, it was probably a neat system, hobbled by cost "optimisation" which made it hideously slow and virtually unusable.
 

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I have had two OTA upgrades since getting the car, the first was v5.12 and this was just a minor bug fix release, then yesterday V6 arrived with new features. Nothing earth shattering a new calendar app, updates to the navigation systems, some tweeks to other systems but its more than I received from Nissan in 3 years. They could not even give me the battery % icon, no sir thats only available in the new model.
 
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