Well it looks like Tesla are dropping some Christmas updates as the software has begun rolling out to users. Included in the next release are some long awaited features, with the one I’m most excited to see being support for messaging.
Tesla has traditionally been very light on with their phone support. Sure you can connect your Bluetooth and use your phone as a key to enter the car, play music from it, or make calls, but as far as messaging, you were out of luck.
Included in the latest update, under the heading ‘Voice Commands’ reads the following text:
Voice commands have been rebuilt to understand natural language. For this initial release, we focused on commands that minimize having to touch the screen so you can keep your eyes on the road. A few areas and examples of what you can say are:
- Climate: “Set the temperature to 70”, “Turn on the passenger seat heater”
- Vehicle: “Adjust my right mirror”, “Open the glovebox”
- Navigation “Let’s go to work”, “Where are the nearby supercharging stations”
- Media: “Play the Beatles”, “Search for Joe Rogan podcast”
- Communication “Call David Lewis”, “Send a text message to Evan”.
This list of voice commands not only ads the much needed capacity to listen and respond to text messages, but as you can see, you can perform many of the car’s functions available through the touchscreen.
This directly addresses my biggest issue with the car, that I recently covered in the post ‘A Tesla is the most connected car, but feels really disconnected.’
The release notes do however specifically list Text Messages, rather than simply Messages which would cover the broader messaging platforms. At least for now, I believe it’s these improvements will only support SMS, at least initially.
There are also Driving Visualization Improvements and something called Camp Mode which we’re still getting detail on.
The software is rolling out now and I for one am really excited to get this in my Model 3, these new features sound like some of the most important the company has delivered to date.
It is understood that the Software update that includes these changes is version 2019.40.50 was first spotted earlier today. When you’ll get the update is a matter of a number of parameters.
One advantage of paying for the Full Self Driving package is that you get priority over those that haven’t when it comes to updates like this. It could take a couple of weeks, which could fall into early 2020 for everyone to get this update.