Tesla Model S gets new software to ‘end range anxiety’

tesla model s gets new software to end range anxiety p85d
In his most recent Twitter boast, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk claimed a software update for the Model S released this week would “end range anxiety.”

However, that update has nothing to do with battery capacity or efficiency. Rather, it aims to soothe drivers with information.

The update includes two new features intended to help drivers better estimate range, and find charging stations more easily.

One component of this is “Range Assurance,” a navigation app that runs in the background even when the system itself is not in use.

It monitors Tesla’s network of Supercharger stations, notes which ones are crowded, and warns the driver when he or she is about to go out of range of a station.

When the driver decides to stop for a charge, the system displays a map of the most convenient charging stations and gives directions to the closest one. It can even account for the effects of altitude changes, wind, and other weather conditions on range.

Many electric-car drivers calculate this sort of thing on their own when taking long trips, but Tesla claims the car can now do it all automatically.

The second half of the anxiety-abating duo is the new “Trip Planner.” This feature allows drivers to plan a route with charging stops along the way, using real-time information from stations and other cars to determine where it’s best to pull over.

Trip Planner then calculates the best route to the next charging station, and determines how long a stop is required. It can also message owners through Tesla’s smartphone app when the car is done charging.

Range Assurance and Trip Planner will also be packaged with software for new safety features.

Tesla will add automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and side-collision warning. Some cars equipped with the hardware to support these features have already shipped to customers.

Finally, the Model S will also get a valet mode, which limits power, locks the glovebox and front trunk (“frunk,” in Tesla speak), and locks down any personal information stored on the car’s infotainment system.

Like other Tesla updates, expect this new software to be released over the air fairly quickly.


Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

With a 48-inch screen, this futuristic dashboard is like nothing else

Chinese startup Byton traveled to CES 2019 to unveil a new version of its electric concept that's closer to series production. It has the largest screen ever fitted to a production vehicle.

Rocket technology will allow the 2020 Tesla Roadster to hover above the road

Tesla has officially unveiled the second-generation Roadster. With a 0-to-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, the Roadster could be the quickest production car in the world. It's is scheduled to arrive in 2020.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.

Move mountains with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty and its 1,000 pound-feet of torque

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck boasts 1,000 pound-feet of torque -- outgunning rival trucks from Ford and Chevrolet. The new Ram goes on sale later this year.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.