Tesla has announced software Version 8.0 will soon be available in Australia as an over-the-air update, representing the biggest overhaul to the user-interface (UI) since the Model S made its local debut.
Tesla says the new software modernises the look of the giant infotainment touchscreen, with updates to Autopilot, Navigation with Trip Planner, Maps, and the Media Player.
Following the death of an owner in the US while using the company’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving feature, Tesla earlier outlined its Version 8.0 changes which will see Autopilot utilise more radar data while operating.
Tesla has added or refined 200 Autopilot functions, not least of which is the warning indicator to inform the driver when Autopilot has been engaged (now clearer).
Other improvements include a change to the display which now shows angled vehicles as they enter a curve, along with smoother stop-start city traffic operation, navigation of highway interchanges and offset lane placement while overtaking; should the car alongside wander too close.
Tesla has introduced an entirely new function for Version 8.0 called Cabin Overheat Protection. This system - an industry-first, according to Tesla - senses if children or animals are locked in the cabin and ensures the interior is kept cool even if the car is switched off.
The carmaker says Cabin Overheat Protection can operate “for hours” thanks to Tesla’s large battery packs.
The navigation and mapping system now spans the entire screen, displaying vital data and automatically fading the control bar.
Maps zoom automatically, depending on location, and users can navigate to home or work with a single swipe command.
Changes to the Media Player have now made the search function simpler while promoting a user’s preferred media content for easier access. Voice commands are also easier to use, prompted by a single tap.
The carmaker has previously stressed that its cars are ‘at their worst’ when the customer first takes delivery, given that frequent software updates will continue to improve the car throughout the ownership experience.
The last major update was Version 7.1, which rolled out in January.