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Tesla Model S Update Makes it "Effectively Impossible" to be Stranded

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/19/2015 Erick Ayapana
Tesla Model S Update Makes it "Effectively Impossible" to be Stranded

As promised, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk today announced his company’s latest effort to combat range anxiety. Musk detailed two new applications for the Model S that will be part of software update 6.2 and should make it “effectively impossible” to run out of range unintentionally.

One application is called Range Assurance, and the big news here is the ability for the Model S to communicate with Tesla’s network of Superchargers in real time. Not only will it find the nearest Supercharger, but it will also find the least busy one, too, which should prevent owners from inadvertently driving up to a fully-occupied Supercharger station. Tesla’s goal here is to have zero wait time for a Supercharger, which is important as the number of Teslas on the road continue to increase.

Related Link: Research the Tesla Model S

2015 Tesla Model S P85D© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Tesla Model S P85D

Additionally, the Range Assurance application considers a number of factors that affect range like weather, wind speed, and elevation. Musk says the application will check in with the driver at least twice when the battery pack is running low. If the Model S runs out of range, it’ll be the driver’s fault.

Another application that will roll out with update 6.2 is Trip Planner. This app will better integrate charging options and destination routes in an effort to improve the ratio of driving time to charging time.

Update 6.2 will also include the addition of active safety features. Among them is blind-spot and side-collision warning and automatic emergency braking to avoid forward collisions. As with previous software updates, owners will be able to download update 6.2 (scheduled to roll out in about 10 days) directly to their Model S over-the-air.

Related Story: Elon Musk Predicts Human Drivers Will Be Outlawed in the Future

2015 Tesla Model S P85D© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Tesla Model S P85D

While rumors suggested an increase in range, that isn’t the case with update 6.2. The Model S with the 60 kW-hr battery pack, for example, is still EPA-rated at 208 miles of range, while the all-wheel-drive Model S 85D returns 270 miles.

Musk also provided a hint of what to expect for update 7. Most significant will be the rollout of Auto Steering, which essentially makes the Model S an autonomous car. Musk says engineers are currently testing the feature in a test route between San Francisco and Seattle. For now, Auto Steering will only work on the open road and highways or in private property, not in the city or in residential neighborhoods.

Update 7 will also enable owners to summon their Model S as long as they’re on private property. Here, the phone app will command the Model S to find and drive to the owner. The feature will also allow the Model S to automatically park itself in a designated spot. If that spot happens to be in a garage, the system will automatically close the garage door, too. Other improvements slated for update 7, expected to launch in 3-4 months, is an overhaul of the user interface, better audio quality and radio reception, and improved accelerator and brake feel. More details on update 7 will be revealed closer to its release.

2015 Tesla Model S P85D© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Tesla Model S P85D

Source: Tesla Motors

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