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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on September 26th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan

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Tesla Software V10 Wins The Internet

September 26th, 2019 by  


I got to enjoy Tesla vehicle software V10 10 days ago, and I have been suffering ever since while I have waited for my car to get the upgrade. The banquet of wonderful, beautiful, thrilling, boring, and fun new features perhaps makes this Tesla’s best vehicle software update yet. I already wrote about most of the improvements in that previous article. However, there are a few updates I didn’t note (or know about) at the time, so here are a few updates (regarding the updates):

Spotify! Tesla owners in the US have been begging Tesla for Spotify for years. (Europeans, ahem, have had the feature for years. Some people there told me it was their favorite thing about a Tesla — including this Tesla hearse driver.) Well, at long last, Tesla owners in the United States can also play Spotify directly through the Tesla touchscreen (and sound system).

In Tesla’s PR language (which is a bit different from its NSFW Twitter language and screams):

“We’re expanding our music and audio platform to enable Spotify Premium account access in all supported markets – one of the most requested features from Tesla owners. This will be in addition to Slacker Radio and TuneIn, which are also available in Tesla vehicles.”

As usual, China does things a bit differently. In the Chinese market, owners get access to Ximalaya.

I get streaming access & browser! As you may know, I have the lowly poor man’s Tesla, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+). No, I am not complaining (or not complaining too much), but there are indeed some lust-worthy benefits to buying higher-trim Teslas. For example, I have had no browser and no music streaming services. It’s all: the radio, or what I have on my phone. Thankfully, Tesla determined that was cruel and is now giving us lowly SR+ owners access to streaming media and the browser. Woohoo! That said, it seems like the streaming music options are only available when the car is parked. Hmmm. Here are the deets from Tesla:

“To take advantage of the advanced media features in Software Version 10.0, we are also enabling browser access on all Model 3 Standard Range Plus and Standard Range vehicles. The update will also enable streaming media access to Spotify, TuneIn, and Slacker while parked and connected to WiFi for these cars.”

Security/Sentry Mode booster: Previously, you’d have to wade through oodles of Tesla camera recordings to find Sentry Mode recordings. Tesla realized that’s not ideal when you want to quickly find out who keyed, dinged, or drooled on your car. The solution:

“To help make USB storage for our Dashcam and Sentry Mode features easier to manage, video clips taken while your vehicle is being protected by Sentry Mode will now be stored to a separate folder on your USB drive. Older clips will also be automatically deleted if you’re low on storage.”

Thank you, Tesla.

The feature I’m absolutely most excited about is Tesla Theater. Though, while I emphasized Netflix and YouTube last week, I neglected to mention Hulu/Hulu + Live TV. If you do the Hulu, good for you — you get to have fun in your Tesla, too! Furthermore, Chinese owners will not be forced to stare at a black YouTube or Netflix screen. They get access to iQiyi and Tencent Video. (Note that Tencent owns something like 5% of Tesla.)

My Previous Commentary on New Features in V10

I got quite lucky tonight. I was walking along Sesame Street minding my own business when I all of a sudden got plopped into a Tesla Model 3 with Tesla’s new V10 software. I know, I know — you shouldn’t talk to strangers. But when you get an opportunity like this, you just have to take it.

Let’s run through the various improvements coming to Tesla vehicles in V10.

Cuphead

Cuphead joins the various games in Tesla’s in-car arcade.

There is, as of yet, no indication whether Sentry Mode will be recording you as you commit various crimes as Cuphead or Mugman. Proceed with caution.

Navigation Improvements

Tesla minimalism is wonderful, but Tesla’s navigation features have historically been a bit … sparse. It’s nice to see that more destination info will be shown, autocomplete will include distance to the location, and Area 51 is indeed an Alien Center.

The smart Sentry Mode improvement looks useful, too. These over-the-air software updates are turning out to be quite a nifty idea, aren’t they?

Navigation Easter Eggs

A more intriguing and fun update to the navigation is a new “feeling lucky” feature — or two of them.

Click the “Hungry” button and the navigation will throw you a restaurant suggestion. (Did the car taste the food before recommending? Unlikely. Are the suggestions for restaurants with decent online rations? They seem to be. Are you actually going to let the car decide where to eat? Of course you are.)

Click the “Lucky” button and the navigation system suggests some nearby attractions. Playing with this for a couple of minutes, it was interesting to see the range in suggestions — from simple parks to legitimate tourist attractions. The suggestions can be in other cities in the region, too, so expect to see some places you’re not familiar with.

Joe Mode!

“Joe Mode” is something I have wished for almost every day we’ve had the Model 3, except I’d name it “Julia Mode.” The chimes from the car seldom (if ever) actually wake up our little girl while she’s napping, but it’s often a concern — and having a toddler wake up before nap time is over isn’t fun. #ThanksTesla!

There’s some other stuff in that screenshot, too, that’s minor but potentially useful, depending on your needs.

Enhanced Summon

Enhanced Summon is freakin’ wicked. It’s awesome. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in or from a Tesla. It’s also super eery. I did not record any clips of it out of concern for the vehicle owner’s privacy and Tesla’s wishes that this stuff not be recorded until it’s ready for wide release. But for real — this thing is cool.

Tesla Theater & Caraoke

As leaked by Elon Musk himself, watching Netflix in the car is like sitting in your own personal home theater. The sound quality from the car’s premium speaker system makes this an amazing experience. All I kept thinking is there’s going to be a huge number of people who never want to leave their Teslas. Thought long Tesla road trips and camping in your car was popular before? This is about to get out of hand.

Just turning on a YouTube video for a moment, you could see the difference between non-Hollywood sound and Hollywood sound, but the Tesla touchscreen is definitely a great place for YouTube as well. I’d love to try out different types of videos to see how they play and sound, but we didn’t have all night and, honestly, I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing it is to watch Netflix in the car and how that’s going to tranform what a car means to people.

Caraoke?!! My daughters are going to have a new favorite feature in the Tesla. Goodbye, Beach Buggy. Hello, Caraoke.

Automatic Lane Change & Autopilot Lane Markings

I’m going to come back to this for a separate article, but the gist of this update is that automatically changing lanes is improving and the visualizations for Autopilot are improving. Stay tuned for more on that. (It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s interesting to see how Tesla keeps incrementally improving this system.)


If you’d like to buy a Tesla and get 2,000 miles (3,000 km) of free Supercharging, feel free to use my referral code by October 1: https://ts.la/zachary63404. After October 1, it’s presumed that you will get 1,000 miles (1,500 km) of free Supercharging by using that referral code (or someone else’s).

 
 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the CEO of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he offers no investment advice and does not recommend investing in Tesla or any other company.



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