Tesla releases Software 6.1 for the Model S


Tesla have just released an update to the Model S, yep another over-the-air software update (version 6.1) to make the vehicle even smarter. There’s a lot packed into this update, including auto high beam, enhanced park assist view and more. Improvements like the ability to open the charge port by pressing and holding the trunk button on your keyfob is a nice addition as are shuffle/repeat in the media Player, one-touch phone number dialing in calendar events, and better support for podcasts thanks to Tune-In Radio.


imageTraffic-Aware Cruise Control

With this release, Model S cruise control has been upgraded to Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC). When TACC is engaged, Model S will adjust its speed based on the car directly in front of you, decelerating and accelerating as needed. This feature is available only to customers who have Autopilot hardware and have purchased the new Tech Package.

You can now immediately adjust your set speed to the speed determined by Speed Assist. To do so, first check the Speed Assist speed, indicated by the tick mark at the edge of the speedometer. If this speed is appropriate, pull the cruise stalk toward you and hold it for approximately half a second. When you release the stalk, your set speed is the speed determined by Speed Assist, taking into account any OFFSET FROM SPEED LIMIT you’ve set.

Forward Collision Warning

Forward Collision Warning will warn you when there is an object in your path and a collision is likely unless the driver takes corrective action. This warning consists of a visual indicator in the center of the dial in the instrument panel, along with a chime. You can set how early you’d like to be warned, or disable this feature, via the FORWARD COLLISION WARNING setting in Controls > Settings > Driver Assistance > COLLISION AVOIDANCE ASSIST.

Auto High Beam

Auto High Beam is a new convenience feature where Model S will temporarily switch to lowbeam headlights if there is traffic or urban lighting detected in front of the car, such as from an oncoming vehicle or street lights. The blue headlights telltale in the instrument panel will display a small “A” when high beams are on. This telltale will turn gray when high beams are not on.

Auto High Beam is activated when you turn your high beams on and have enabled this feature via the AUTO HIGH BEAM setting in Controls > LIGHTS.

imageTrip Energy Prediction

You can also monitor energy usage while on your trip via the new Trip Chart in the Energy app. This chart allows you to track Model S’s actual energy usage against the initial prediction. To examine the chart in more detail, you can tap on the zoom button in the upper right portion of the chart.

The projected energy remaining will briefly be displayed as a percent when a trip is first generated by the Navigation system. Thereafter, you can view it by tapping the area at the bottom of the turn list. While Navigation is active, Model S will also monitor your energy usage and advise you:  If you need to drive slowly to reach your destination, or if you won’t be able to reach your destination without charging. 

Whether Model S has sufficient energy for a round trip—enough energy to get to your destination and back to the starting point of your trip. Tap on the bar at the bottom of the Navigation turn list to see this value.

imageTrip Chart
You can also monitor energy usage while on your trip via the new Trip Chart in the Energy app. This chart allows you to track Model S’s actual energy usage against the initial prediction. To examine the chart in more detail, you can tap on the zoom button in the upper right portion of the chart.

Energy Option for Battery Display
To better support the new Trip Energy Prediction feature, you now have the option to view the energy remaining in your battery as a percentage. You can switch to this view by choosing the ENERGY option in Controls > Settings > Units & Formats > ENERGY & CHARGING.

Smart Preconditioning (BETA)

With this release, Smart Preconditioning will automatically get the cabin climate ready for you, based on the last set temperature and your driving schedule. Model S will observe your driving schedule and when it’s confident in identifying a pattern, it will start Smart Preconditioning when you are charging, at home, or at work.

New Navigation View: Route Overview

There is now a new way to view your route when you are using Navigation. The Route Overview mode allows you to see the full route on the map. This view will adjust and zoom in on your destination as you make progress on your trip. You can switch to this mode by tapping on the control in the center of the Maps control bar.

imageEnhanced Park Assist View

With this release, the Park Assist view has been enhanced to provide better guidance when you park your Model S. When you shift to reverse, the Park Assist view will appear, showing any objects that are in close proximity to the front and rear of your Model S. A chime will also sound as your Model S approaches any objects to the front/rear.

The Park Assist view will close when you shift to drive unless there are objects close to the front of the car, in which case the Park Assist view will close automatically when the speed exceeds 5 mph (8 km/h). You can also close the Park Assist view manually by tapping on the “x” in the upper left-hand corner. If you need to silence the chime, you can tap on the mute button, located in the bottom left corner of the window.

imageReverse Camera Guidelines

To help you back up with more confidence, new guidelines are now available in the Camera view when you shift to reverse. The guidelines will curve appropriately in response to any steering wheel adjustments.

Calendar Enhancements: Meeting Notes & Phone Numbers

With this release, you can now do more with Calendar events: view event notes and easily dial phone numbers associated with an event—e.g., conference call phone numbers, etc. Additionally, you can now use the filter function to control which calendar events appear in the app.

The first phone number associated with an event—e.g., in the event location field or event notes—will be displayed with the event on the main Calendar view. Just tap on it to dial the phone number via the Bluetooth-connected phone.

Media App Improvements

You can now shuffle tracks in a playlist or repeat any track on a USB drive or Slacker Premium account. Just tap on the Shuffle or Repeat icons beneath the album cover art to enable/disable these options.

TuneIn Podcasts
You can now pause or rewind/fast forward to any point in a TuneIn podcast. To rewind/fast forward, simply manipulate the scrubber bar in the Media app. You can also pick up where you left off in a TuneIn podcast when you return to your Model S.

Improved Rdio/Slacker
Buffering With this release, there is better buffering for Rdio/Slacker. You can see the music buffering ahead as the buffer bar “fills up.”

imageFactory Reset

You can now use the Factory Reset function to erase all personal data— e.g., saved addresses, music favorites, etc.—and reset all settings to their factory defaults. This is particularly useful when you are transferring ownership of the car—e.g., selling it or giving it to someone else.

You will need to enter your My Tesla account information to complete the Factory Reset process. This feature is available via the FACTORY RESET setting in Controls > Settings > Service & Reset > CAR SOFTWARE.

Getting the update

If you’re a Tesla Model S owner, you will be notified via the in-car display when software 6.1 is available. Tesla roll out the software in batches, so if you don’t have it yet, just wait longer.

More information on software v6.1 is available at Tesla (PDF).

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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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