Tesla Model S V9 Software Update Details

07 Oct Tesla V9 software update details for Model S and Model X

Oct 07, 2018 | by Iqtidar Ali

Let’s get into the details of the Tesla V9 software update for Model S and Model X as it is now on wide-release except for the ‘Navigate on Autopilot (details below)’ feature which is ‘coming soon’ as previously announced by Elon Musk/Tesla.

If you’re looking for complete details on the Model 3 V9 update you can visit our V9 update page here.

As the V9 update is rolling out to general users in it’s 2nd phase of deployment, we are getting more and more demonstration and overview videos enabling us to see how exactly the update has improved the overall user experience of Tesla owners.

Tesla vehicles connected through a WiFi connection are more likely to get the V9 software update earlier — so it’s recommended to have a WiFi available for your Tesla EV for a major refresh.

A Model S P100D owner give us a great overview of the new and improved features of the V9 update in the following video:

Probably the most entertaining and attractive part of the V9 update are the classic Atari games that can be accessed on all Tesla vehicles by clicking the Tesla ‘T’ on the touchscreen (center-top). Following Atari games are currently available with the Version 9 update:

  • Asteroids
  • Lunar Lander
  • Missile Command
  • Centipede

Trevor Page from the Model 3 Owners Club also recorded a detailed overview of the V9 update features in his Model X (below) — we can see that the browser on the old MCU Tesla cars is still not very functional, vehicles with the 2nd Generation Tesla MCU (Media Control Unit/Processor) should be able to handle the browser smoothly.

Another important thing in the Tesla Version 9.0 Software Update is that it uses all the 8 cameras on the vehicles equipped with Hardware 2.x (produced Oct 2016 and later) — which means the vehicle has now a full 360° view — enabling Tesla vehicles for a better blind spot detection and understanding of the current situation in traffic or parking.

Now Tesla’s on-board software with the help of cameras and radars is able to detect and display multiple types of traffic including bikes/motorcycles, light duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks — where previously the vehicle was only able to display every type of traffic as cars (screenshot below by @marc_benton).

Tesla vehicles are now able to detect and display bikes/motorcycles, light duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks in addition to cars on the center screen
Tesla vehicles are now able to detect and display bikes/motorcycles, light duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks in addition to cars on the center screen.

Tesla released the following blog post with the official announcement of the fleet-wide roll-out of V9 Software Update, detailing the new features and enhancements.

This week, Tesla owners across North America are waking up to a car that is smarter, safer and more intuitive than ever before. Our most substantial update yet, Software Version 9.0, introduces a refined and simplified user interface, along with entirely new features for Model S, Model X, and Model 3, as well as on Tesla’s mobile app.

To receive Version 9.0 as quickly as possible, connect your car to WiFi. Here’s an overview of what’s new:

Tesla Mobile App Updates

  • Using the Tesla app, you can initiate a vehicle software update remotely without having to be in your car.
  • Now, you can use your phone to send a destination to your car’s navigation. Simply use the “Share” button in your favorite map app.
  • Passengers are now able to access Media controls from their mobile devices. Drivers can enable or disable this feature from their car’s center screen by going to Media Settings > Allow Mobile Control.

Dash Cam

  • Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles built with Hardware 2.5 (introduced in August 2017) now allow you to record and store video captured from the forward-facing camera when your car is in use. You will need to configure file formatting and allow for a minimum of 1.8 GB of free space on a flash drive. The drive should be inserted into a front row USB port.
  • Tap the Dashcam icon to save 10-minute video clip, or, press and hold to pause recording.

New Apps & App Launcher

  • For Model S, Model X and Model 3, the new application launcher brings all your apps together in one place, including your Calendar, Energy, Web Browser, Rear View Camera, Phone and Charging apps. You can also access your last-used app by swiping upward on the app launcher, and you can dismiss the current app by swiping downward.
  • Three new apps for Model 3 bring web-browsing capabilities, calendar integration with your mobile device, and the ability to monitor energy consumption in real-time or view the projected energy use for an upcoming trip.

Updated Climate Controls

  • You can now access controls for cold weather features in Model S and Model X, including rear seat heaters, steering wheel heater, and wiper heater all in one place. You can also press and hold to turn climate on or off without needing to open the full climate menu.
  • In Model 3, you can easily adjust the temperature with one touch by simply swiping across the temperature control setting to the left or right. A new 3D visualization of the dashboard shows you exactly how air is flowing into the cabin, and allows you to precisely direct the channels of air.

Navigate on Autopilot (coming soon)

  • With Software Version 9.0, we’ll be expanding our existing suite of Autopilot features with future over-the-air updates and all-new functionality in the coming months.
  • Our most advanced Autopilot feature ever, Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating highway interchanges and taking exits. It’s designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use.
  • Once a destination is entered into the navigation, drivers can choose to enable “Navigate on Autopilot” for that trip, and the feature is then activated when Autosteer is engaged via the normal prompt on the cruise control stalk (Model S and Model X) or gear selector stalk (Model 3). When a lane change is suggested, drivers must confirm that they’re ready by tapping the turn signal (for Model S and Model X, the turn signal or cruise control stalk). Drivers can continue to use Autosteer and other Enhanced Autopilot features without Navigate on Autopilot anytime they choose to.
  • With Software 9.0, Navigate on Autopilot will initially be released in Shadow Mode – a dormant logging-only mode which lets us validate the performance of the feature in the background based on millions of miles of real-world driving. Once validation is complete, we will introduce Navigate on Autopilot as a beta feature to customers in the U.S. Navigate on Autopilot will be introduced in other markets in the future pending validation and regulatory approval.

Full 360° View

  • Now, all eight external cameras from our Full Self-Driving hardware in every Model S, Model X and Model 3 are active, enabling better situational awareness on the road with a 360-degree visualization of surrounding vehicles.
  • Blind spot monitoring, which previously relied solely on the ultrasonic sensors, now uses the side and rear facing cameras to detect vehicles and displays them on-screen. When the turn signal is activated and a vehicle is detected in your blind spot, the lane line shown in the on-screen visualization turns red.
  • New classes of vehicles are displayed, including bikes/motorcycles, light duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks, to provide drivers with a more complete understanding of their surroundings.
  • The 360-degree visualization also shows vehicles in adjacent lanes, even when they’re behind or far ahead of your Tesla, and multiple lanes to each side of your car are now visible.

Enhanced Navigation Routing

  • The turn-by-turn directions shown on Model S and Model X touchscreens now provide more information about upcoming turns, including highway exit information. Your next navigation step is always prominently displayed, and to see complete route details during a trip, simply tap or pull down on the navigation panel.
  • In Model 3, turn-by-turn directions have been moved to the left side of the touchscreen and are simplified to display relevant upcoming information, including highway exits. Tap or pull down to see additional details in the full Trip Overview.
  • You can now select whether or not your car is eligible for high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, allowing our navigation system to more efficiently route you.

Obstacle-Aware Acceleration

  • If an obstacle is detected in the path of your vehicle while driving at low speeds (i.e. while parking), full acceleration is reduced in order to help prevent drivers from accidentally accelerating. This feature can be enabled or disabled in Controls > Autopilot.

Fun & Games

  • While Tesla cars are known to be fun to drive, they’re now even more fun while in ‘Park.’ Classic arcade games from Atari are now discoverable as hidden Easter Eggs. If you can find them, your car becomes a game console with controls on the touchscreen and steering wheel. Happy hunting!

Every single Model S, Model X and Model 3 ever built will receive new features and improvements from Software Version 9.0. This is just the latest reminder that when you own a Tesla, you own a car that will only get better over time.

If you wish to access full release notes with feature availability in specific vehicle, country or hardware version you can access them on Tesla Motors Club forum here.

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