If there’s one way to add value to your vehicle over time, Tesla Motors has found a way to do it.
The luxury electric car maker just announced that it will be providing a new over-the-air update to their vehicle’s software systems, in similar fashion to what most people experience with their smartphones. Tesla has issued software updates previously, which have enabled their cars to enact new features like sleep mode and hill start assist. The latest press release detailing Software V6.0 says the latest slew of updates gives Tesla owners even more options for customization.
“The Software v6.0 update introduces traffic-based navigation and commute advice, provides an in-car view of daily schedules, enables location-based air suspension settings, and allows owners to name their Model S and start it remotely using their mobile phone,” the company announced.
Tesla detailed seven total major features that will be included in the latest software refresh. Two that are sure to become driver favorites are Traffic-Based Navigation and Commute Advice, which not only updates the navigation system as a whole, but augments it with real-time traffic data from other Tesla vehicles in the vicinity. The vehicle’s systems will even monitor traffic along your typical commute before you even get in the car, offering advice on which routes or detours may be best given current conditions.
Drivers will also be able to use an onboard calendar, which will sync with smartphones and allow you to view your schedule. By syncing with the vehicle, the car can get a jump start on providing directions and route navigation to your next destination. Smartphones are and mobile apps are a large part of Tesla’s strategy going forward, as another new feature allows drivers to remotely start their vehicles using the official Tesla app.
Not only that, but Name Your Car is also a new feature, and the nickname you select will appear in Tesla’s mobile app system and be used on its internal computers.
The latest software update is simply the latest in a planned line set to commence over several year. It may be an integral part of Tesla’s overall strategy to allow drivers to personalize their vehicles, and not allow them to depreciate with outdated software, as many other vehicles do.
“This software update represents Tesla’s commitment to improving Model S for customers even long after it has left the assembly line. With each update, Model S becomes more attuned and responsive to its owner’s needs without requiring excessive user input. We will continuously fine-tune the software and work on new features in response to customer feedback,” the company said.
The changes that Tesla are implementing are likely coming as a result of consumer feedback, which the company is taking a unique approach to. While many companies are suffering from PR nightmares regarding their customer interactions, Tesla is instead inviting suggestions for improving its products, and responding to it. A recent example of Tesla’s vastly different approach was recently seen when two Tesla owners took out a newspaper ad to bring some things to CEO Elon Musk’s attention. Not only did it get his attention, but he promised to make the changes suggested. Another owner — who also happens to be a contributor for Green Car Reports — emailed Musk his concerns as well. Musk responded to him as well, discussing the issues at hand and what could be done to implement changes.
The way Tesla is handling customer suggestions, along with the method it has chosen to implement those changes, is a refreshing new approach in the auto industry. The company has already paved its own way in terms of vehicle design, technology and sales, and is now apparently revolutionizing customer service as well.
Hopefully other auto makers take notice, and are able to use Tesla’s triumphs as a blueprint. Even if you’re not a fan of Tesla’s vehicles, the company’s approach to business is certainly a breath of fresh air.