Telsa announced updates for the Telsa S series electric cars that should reduce range anxiety and make driving safer. The first update will be 6.2 followed by 7.0. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie signed a law allowing Tesla cars to be sold in the state.
Many were hoping that due to Elon Musk’s Tweet that the update would reduce range anxiety, that the range of the Tesla would be extended. Instead, Musk announced with the over-the-air update 6.2, coming out in ten days, will prevent drivers from running out of charge accidentally. The Tesla car communicates with the supercharging stations and lets the driver know when s/he will be out of range. The system is also aware of what chargers are in use.
The system calculates all the aspects that can affect range such as elevation driving style, and wind speed.
The driver then gets directions and route to the nearest available supercharger. The feature is called “Trip Planner.’
— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) March 19, 2015
“It will be impossible to run out of charge unless you do so intentionally,” Musk told reporters Thursday with reporters and investors.
After a half hour charge at a supercharger the Tesla should have an additional 170 miles of range.
The 6.2 update also adds emergency breaking and side collision/blind spot warnings.
The next software update 7.0 due out in about three months, will completely change the UI and include auto-steering as part of the auto pilot upgrade demonstrated, last year. Musk reported that it due to testing a Tesla driver can go from San Francisco to Seattle barely touching the steering wheel.
Although auto-steering is capable of going from parking lot to parking lot, Tesla will enable it only for users on highways with this hardware because it’s not safe in neighborhoods where there are no lane markings and kids may be playing in the street.
Car summoning or self parking from a smartphone app will only be available on private roads. The car can navigate in the dark and could navigate in an underground parking garage, reported Musk.
The sweet spot for electric cars is between 200 and 300 miles per charge and Telsa S models fall into that range. Musk reported that more range than that makes the car too heavy and too expensive. He suggested that drivers after several hours need a break.
The AWD Tesla S won the Tech CARS Award for best electric car technology.
The Tesla Model S comes standard with radar, forward camera, and 360-degree ultrasonic sensors hardware. Future software updates will enable advanced safety features such as intelligent adaptive cruise control and self parking (private property).
Tesla cars are sold directly to consumers through company owned showrooms. Last year, New Jersey enforced a law that requires cars to be sold to the public through dealerships. Under the new New Jersey law Tesla can open four sales showrooms and at least one service center.
Tesla cars can not be sold in Virginia, Arizona, Texas and Michigan.