Last night before going to bed I noticed one of my friends on Twitter (Sofiaan) was getting a new software update (2019.36.1). I read a little about it and then I noticed I got it too! I set it to install and went to sleep. When I woke up, I took Henry for a spin to try out the new features. Before I give you my impressions, I’ll go over the 4 enhancements.
- Stopping Mode enables the 100% one-pedal driving many people have heard about but Tesla has never offered. Tesla cars have almost allowed one-pedal driving, but only slowed to about 3 miles per hour, so you would need to tap on the brakes to avoid rolling into either the intersection or the car ahead of you. (Editor’s note regarding an exception: With Autopilot on, if a car is stopped in front of you, your car will come to a stop as well. This is a core reason Autopilot is so nice in stop-and-go, bumper-to-bumper traffic.)
- Scheduled Departure allows you to just set the time you will leave and the car will charge up to your limit right before that time. This has 5 possible advantages.
- It is best for your battery pack to stay full for a minimum amount of time before driving.
- It allows you to charge when rates are the lowest (this was an option before).
- It gets the battery to the optimal temperature for consistent regenerative braking and acceleration.
- It sets the climate control so that it is comfortable at the departure time (without you manually turning it on from your phone).
- It allows you to leave your house with the charge level you choose.
- Power Increase gives you 5% more power.
- Automatic Navigation automatically starts navigation in two situations:
- Going from home to work and back. Although I don’t forget how to get to work or back home, this is handy because it will suggest an alternate route if there is an accident and I don’t always remember to turn on navigation.
- If you have something on your calendar.
I didn’t have anything on my calendar (and I don’t drive to work on Saturday), so I don’t have anything to say on automatic navigation other than that it is enabled by default (but you can turn it off) and I think this will be very useful. I don’t plug my car in every day to charge (only every few days, since I only have a 6 mile commute to work), so I also don’t have any comments yet on the scheduled departure feature. I will use it when I take a long trip. Previously, you had to do some math to schedule your charging if you didn’t want your battery to sit full for several hours, which is not good for battery longevity.
You have to adjust your stopping mode from Roll or Creep to Hold to try out the one-pedal driving. I changed the setting and immediately loved it! I noticed it doesn’t just work going forward, but even stops the car when backing out of my garage! It seems like regenerative braking is stronger now, but it could be that I’m just paying more attention to it. I drove around for a few minutes and I loved having the car come to a complete stop when I took my foot off the accelerator without the drudgery of applying the brakes (if this isn’t a first-world problem, I don’t know what is). One nice side effect is that when you are using Autopilot, if you time when you take it off Autopilot perfectly, you don’t have to press the brake pedal or accelerator. This makes it even more obvious that they need to ship stop sign and stop light recognition, since that is the last thing I need to do manually. I have to watch for FSD (Full Self Driving) mistakes (of course) and take it off Autopilot for signs, stop lights, and turns in the city.
Another thing I have noticed that is a disadvantage when using standard regen mode instead of low regen mode (I call it coast mode) is you have to be careful to drive smoothly if you have passengers and don’t use Autopilot. It is easy to be a little jerky since if you lift your foot off the accelerator abruptly, the car will slow down abruptly and this can upset passengers.
What can you say about a 5% increase in power? It is noticeable, but the car was so fun to drive before the power increase, I can’t be sure. I’m not really set up with a VBOX to test acceleration and I don’t find the iPhone applications I’ve tried work very well, so I’m going to leave it to others to tell us if it cuts a tenth or more off of the 0 to 60 time.
As you can tell from the title to this article, I thought this small update was “perfecter,” meaning that before this update I thought the driving experience was perfect and I now realize it wasn’t. I don’t think the car is perfect, just the greatest I’ve ever owned. It has a few annoying things, like the door handles. Tesla is doing an excellent job of delighting its customers, delivering improvements far in excess of their expectations, with one major exception. That exception is full self driving. While the progress toward Tesla’s goal of full self driving has been amazing and fast, it has not met the lofty expectations I developed after listening to Elon Musk’s predictions of the last few years.
If you decide to order a Tesla, order soon, since they may sell out soon for those wanting to get delivery this year and still get the $1,875 US federal tax credit. Use my Tesla referral link to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging on a Tesla Model S, Model X, or Model 3 (you can’t use it on the Model Y yet). Now good for $100 off on solar, too! Here’s the link: https://ts.la/paul92237
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