A few days ago Elon Musk tweeted a mysterious message suggesting Tesla was going to end range anxiety – fear that your electric car’s battery would run out of juice on a long trip – through a software update.
People speculated about what it could be – perhaps an efficiency upgrade, some secret code, black magic – but we now know for sure: trip planning features, according to Engadget.
At a press conference, Musk said Tesla vehicles will soon be able to plot trips that navigate the user around its charger network, even letting you know if the station is full or potentially not working. Additionally, the vehicles will now alert you if you’re exiting the charger range, so that you’re never too far from being able to top up.
While it’s not as immediately exciting as a magical mileage upgrade, Musk says this update is more about ending the fear of your car’s battery dying on you – after all, improved mileage won’t help you if you’re never anywhere near a charger anyway.
What is more exciting is an upcoming autopilot mode due this summer, according to Auto Express.
Development cars can currently drive from San Francisco to Seattle on their own, although the feature will only be available on major roads. Tesla intends for the driver to remain alert and allows him or her to take control at any time.
Tesla cars will also be able to drive from to you from a parking lot; kind of like an auto-valet service. The company says the cars can actually already do this, but the feature has yet to be enabled.
The update will also bring a redesigned interface with improved functionality, so your car will look a little prettier on the inside too.