The California-based electric luxury automaker announced on Thursday, after first Elon Musk stirred up the media with a Twitter post claiming it will end “range anxiety”, a new feature designed to better warn drivers when they are running low on battery power.
Customers of electric cars often compare their vehicles to mobile devices – with the two having in common that its owner can become overly stressed by the fact that its battery (for the car or smartphone) will ran out of juice. While the latter is easily fixable if you have a cable or spare battery, for the electric cars things get more complicated and involve the existence of the necessary charging infrastructure.
The automaker that currently produces the Model S luxury sedan and will soon introduce the Model X crossover has another thing in common with today’s high-tech mobile devices – the possibility of sending software updates wirelessly directly into the car’s computer. Now Tesla is touting the Version7.0 of its car’s operating system, which includes the release of a new Range Assurance feature, tasked to better warn the driver before the Model S runs out of power. The feature will bundle together with a travel planner that could better assist the owner in mapping “optimal” trips and routes. Better yet, the software update and all the new features will be available to the entire base of existing Model S cars, since it’s delivered over-the-air via the car’s embedded 3G connection. Another feature in the software update, scheduled to arrive later on this year, will be a valet mode, which limits the car’s speed and outside access to confidential information.