Testing the latest Tesla software update (2019.36.2.1) offering 5% power increase and new traffic cones driving visualizations.

Tesla update 2019.36.x: power increase test, traffic cones video, release notes

Just before the holiday season goes full throttle, Tesla is deploying new and interesting over-the-air (OTA) software updates to its fleet for the owners to enjoy their leisure time having more fun and with increased safety.

The latest series of firmware updates started with the 2019.36.1 with new features like the improved driving visualizations that now display ‘traffic cones’, a 5% power increase to all the vehicles that enhance the acceleration of Tesla cars, and more.

Driving Visualization Improvements (Traffic Cones)

Tesla has been working extensively on advancing the driving visualizations (Model 3 owners: center touchscreen, Model S/X owners: instrument cluster[non-interactive]) — Tesla deployed two major driving visualizations back in August, one enabled new animations and car graphics rendering and the other gave Model 3 owners the ability to zoom-in and rotate the car and surroundings.

Mike Haldas (@haldas) recorded the following video of the driving visualizations now displaying traffic cones on the screen — ‘green’ the Tesla hacker recently showed us how Tesla Autopilot sees traffic cones and his test in a construction zone.

The following release notes for the driving visuals enhancements were deployed with this update:

The driving visualization now displays traffic cones, in cases where a traffic cone is detected and Navigate on Autopilot is engaged (requires Full Self Driving Capability), the vehicle is designed to suggest a lane change (or attempt a lane change if REQUIRE LANE CHANGE CONFIRMATION is set to NO) to avoid cones. As always, you are responsible for your vehicle and are required to pay attention at all times.

*Applies to vehicles with the FSD Computer installed.

5% Power Increase

The more interesting and fun part of the 2019.36.2.1 update is the newly added power output for Tesla Model 3, S, and X — how much power one need actually? unlimited would be the answer but for cars already doing 0-60 mph in 3.2, 2.5 and 2.7 secs respectively, 5% power boost is going to make them rockets on wheels.

Tesla stated the following in the latest release notes:

Your car’s power has been increased by approximately 5%, improving acceleration and performance.

As simple as that, how this power increase translates in the real world? Watch the following video where Jenny Walsh and their friend attempt a few drag races between two same spec Tesla Model 3s, one (white) with the latest firmware update 36.2.1 and the other one (red) is on a slightly older 32.12.2 firmware version, the difference in acceleration is quite significant.

Jenny cleared any misconceptions about the race in the video description which says:

Our friend got the software update that supposedly increases performance by 5%, and we don’t have it yet. Since we have raced with our friend before and matched evenly every time we thought this was the perfect opportunity to truly test this new update and it claims at a performance boost. Both Model 3s are long-range dual-motor variants. Both were charged to 190 miles left on the battery and had the same exact psi in the tires. We raced with both of the front windows down and both cars. The passenger counted down.[UPDATE]: Lots of comments about the weight difference between the two cars (due to the passenger). We took a closer look at the differences. The white car had a significant amount of stuff in the trunk. Red car had zero things in the trunk. The driver of the white car weighs more. The passenger weighs 115lbs. With all of those things taken into account, the weight difference between the two cars was only approximately 30 lbs at most. Possibly less.

Ligthed 'T' for Tesla Model 3 by EVANNEX

The other features of the 2019.36 and its subversions include Automatic Navigation, Stopping Mode, and the pre-conditioning feature Scheduled Departure — Tesla has provided the following very detailed release notes on these features.

Stopping Mode

Along with the previously-available CREEP and ROLL (the previous vehicle behavior if CREEP was disabled) settings, a new setting called HOLD is available as a Stopping Mode selection. When HOLD is selected, your vehicle continues to use regenerative braking after decelerating to a low speed and applies Vehicle Hold after coming to a complete stop. The HOLD setting maximizes range and reduces brake wear by continuing to provide regenerative braking at speeds lower than approximately 5 mph (8 km/h). See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

To change your Stopping Mode setting, tap Controls > Driving > Stopping Mode while in PARK.

Scheduled Departure

It’s now easier to have your car comfortable and ready to drive with Scheduled Departure. For any location (e.g. Home), plug in your car and select a time for when you want your car to be ready to drive. Once your specified time is set, the car will schedule charging to complete before peak electricity rates begin (6 AM) to reduce energy costs and ensure consistent regenerative braking and performance. It also automatically starts climate control so the cabin is comfortable at the set departure time.

To enable Scheduled Departure for the current location, go to Charging > Schedule. Then select DEPART AT and set the departure time, choosing whether you’d like Scheduled Departure to apply ALL WEEK or only on the WEEKDAYS. If ALL WEEK is selected, you have the option to “Precondition Cabin on Weekdays Only” by selecting the checkbox.

Note: Scheduled Departure will not precondition your car if it has less than 20% battery remaining. This feature improves and replaces the setting previous called Smart Preconditioning.

Automatic Navigation

Automatic Navigation starts a route to a likely destination when you get in your car. Automatic Navigation routes you to locations associated with upcoming calendar events, to Work when leaving Home in the morning (Monday through Friday) and Home when leaving Work in the afternoon or evening (Monday through Friday).

To adjust Automatic Navigation, tap Controls > Navigation > Automatic Navigation. To set your work and home addresses, tap Navigate then tap Home or work and enter the address as necessary, then tap Save.

Many Thanks to TeslaScope.com for providing the release notes in text format.

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Iqtidar Ali
[email protected]

Iqtidar Ali reports on the latest happenings at Tesla and Electric Vehicle forefront. With over 1 decade of experience in website development, he's our IT resource as well.

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