The Tesla Model S is practically unique amongst production cars in that after you buy your car it continues to gain new features as it ages; this helps to keep it relatively up to date in comparison with newer models. The software that runs all the car’s systems (from the drive electronics to the chargers to the entertainment system) can be remotely updated by Tesla in order to fix bugs, add new features and improve the car’s performance.
As of 2015, the entire Model S fleet (right back to the first US cars delivered 3 years ago) still receive software updates that add new features (and in some cases even improve driving performance and efficiency) to the car.
Software Version Numbering
Tesla are continually improving all aspects of the car, including the software that controls it.
Each version of the Model S software has a version number that indicates how new it is. Higher numbers indicate newer software. At the time of writing the latest version of software for the Model S is v6.2.
Updates to the software fall into three categories:
- major releases
- point releases
Major releases occur roughly once per year, and represent a significant step forward in functionality and features. The v6 release added around 10 new features to the car, including a mixture of UI improvements, additions to existing systems, and some entirely new services.
v7 is slated for release later in 2015, and will bring a major overhaul of the entire UI for both the centre console and instrument cluster displays, as well as new Autopilot features and other enhancements.
Point releases occur two or three times a year, and add a number of smaller new features. v6.1 added, amongst others, support for Traffic Aware Cruise Control for autopilot cars, a range prediction feature for the satnav system, support for playlists, and repeat and shuffle options in the Rdio service.
Bugfix releases occur whenever needed. These do not add any significant new features, but either address known issues or provide minor tweaks to car features. The bugfix version of v6.2 fixed a number of bugs, and removed the acceleration setting option from the settings menu of the 85D.
How do I tell what version I have?
Press the T logo at the top of the centre console display and a window will pop up. In the bottom left hand corner your current software version will be shown.
Every major release and point release has release notes telling users what new features have been added. These are displayed automatically after the software is installed, and can be accessed at any time by pressing the T logo at the top of the display.