Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • tesla model s
  • tesla model s

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla figures owners of its Model S all-electric sedan will happily trade a little dashboard start-up speed for a few more miles of range. That's the crux of a software update from the luxury EV maker that will include a so-called "sleep mode." That mode powers everything off when the car is shut down.

The upshot is that there will be what Tesla says is a "modest increase" in the amount of time the car's instrument panel "wakes up" from sleep mode (don't we all have that problem?). The good news is that the car's range increases because of sleep mode. In fact, folks willing to put their cars into sleep mode will get about eight more miles of range for every day that the car's not used and not plugged in. In other words, a non-sleeping Model S loses roughly a mile of range every three hours its just sitting there. Tesla says the software update will also improve voice-command and media-browsing features.

Tesla said late last month that it is boosting the price of the Model S by $2,500 for US customers, putting the base price at $59,900 and the top end hit at $94,400. Those prices don't factor in the federal tax credit worth up to $7,500. Details can be found in Tesla's announcement for the software update below.
Show full PR text
MODEL S SOFTWARE RELEASE NOTES v4.0

A new software update will be available in the coming days. The onboard notification will guide you through the installation. If you would like to review the process, instructions are available at the end of this email.

After installation, Model S will feature new energy-saving "sleep" functionality, improved door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

Beginning with this update, Release Notes will be displayed on the touchscreen right after the update and can always be accessed later by tapping the Tesla T in the status bar and tapping the Release Notes link located above your VIN number, next to the software version number.

NEW FEATURES
Vehicle Sleep
App Launcher
Release Notes
Voice Commands

ENHANCEMENTS
Synchronized Door Handles
USB Media Browsing
Alphabetical Index
Calling from Maps
Steering Wheel Controls - Fan
Speed / Sunroof
Throttle Response
HomeLink - Location Awareness
Energy App

NEW CONTROLS / SETTINGS
Auto-Presenting Door Handles
Alarm
Metric Distance Unit
Range Driving Mode

NEW FEATURES
Vehicle Sleep
With this release, Model S will power off the display and vehicle electronics each time you exit, transitioning to a "sleep" state. When you return to Model S, you'll note a modest increase in the time it takes the touchscreen and instrument panel to wake from this energy-saving state.

Model S will initiate the startup process the moment the key is recognized nearby. You can only begin driving once both displays are ready.

If you would prefer to keep the displays powered so they'll be instantly available each time you return, you can change the setting in Controls > Settings > Vehicle. Note that keeping the displays powered will reduce your car's range up to 8 miles per day when the car is not plugged in, and will also reduce the life of your 12V battery and vehicle electrical systems. If displays are set to power off, the displays will power off 2 hours after the rest of the car goes to sleep. The displays will also power off when the battery charge is low (or after 60 hours without use), regardless of the setting.

DISPLAYS
App Launcher
With this feature, you can easily launch an app in the bottom app window (in addition to the current default behavior, where tapping an icon replaces the app in the top window). To try it, tap and hold an application icon. You'll notice a small pop-up indicating the top and bottom viewing panes. Drag the icon to your preferred location.

KEEP DISPLAYS POWERED ON
COPYRIGHT 2012 TESLA MOTORS INC


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 58 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most Tesla owners still don't have a place to charge at work. So if you figure 9 hours parked at work, not charging... that is 3 miles extra range each day. Woot.
        ElectricAvenue
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        That's an interesting way to look at it. Sort of like fixing a pinhole leak in a fuel tank and then exclaiming "now I'm gaining fuel!"
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        That 3 miles of range is an extra kWh or so. Doesn't sound like much, but "negawatts" should always be something one is looking to pick up.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      It might also reduce the constant drain on the charge plug. The roadster was terrible in that regard. 100watt or so just to maintain. I think the model S is improved but not dramatically. I'd guess about half. 50watt permanent drain doing nothing. Not good engineering in my book.
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        The Model S won't draw power from the plug unless the car is actively charging the HV battery. The vampire load on the Model S is still ridiculous regardless. Imagine how much worse it would be in hot weather when the car will be working to keep the pack cool!
          kidcharlemgne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave R
          Battery is a large thermal mass which does not equilibrate with external temperatures that quickly, especially if not exposed to direct insolation. You know not of what you speak, and thus should not speak.
      Jay Temkar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Even my 5 years old Mobile goes to sleep mode to save battery..
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yawn. (sorry, had to do it....)
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't have a Tesla yet, but it's nice to know they are constantly improving the interface and what the car can do. By the time I get one in three years they will have accumulated an enormous amount of data on what works versus what doesn't work.
        kidcharlemgne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Thanks for keeping things in perspective Grendal! Always count on you for thoughtful contributions. Meanwhile, I'm back to scrolling lower to watch more gremlins set their hair on fire about how this is abominable. The baseless conjecture and hand wringing is fascinating.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @kidcharlemgne
          I have my gnashing of teeth moments. But thanks for the nice compliment.
      Ashton
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love seeing pictures of this car in white...it just look damn good.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm glad Tesla has gotten around to correcting this problem. What hasn't been mentioned is that a lot of this energy use is probably not the computer but the active temperature control of the BMS. That strikes me as needing more energy use than a computer, but who knows....
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will it dream?
      aatheus
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome that Tesla is making this change, but the question that comes to mind is, why didn't they do this before? Leaving that big pretty dashboard (and its computers) on all the time has got to chew through the battery. No wonder the original Roadster's battery would brick if left unplugged for multiple weeks.
        Nick Kordich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @aatheus
        It's about risk management, which is a bigger part of software development than hacking together fixes. Add a feature and you may improve the product, but every feature adds complexity. Or, as I was taught: "First, make it work; then make it work every time; then make it work better." With over-the-air updates on a car, you can make the software work reliably and supply it to customers who are eager to be early adopters. While they may seem the perfect people to be tolerant of software that's less than perfect, they are by definition people who have more money than patience. As a result, the best thing for Tesla to do was exactly what they did: focus on core features and reliability, then add features to expand the functionality in OTA updates. The bottom line is that three are three kinds of people: 1. People who want the car now, and don't insist the car be optimal so long as it continues to improve. 2. People who want the car but will wait for the technology to mature. 3. People who don't want the car. Right now, Tesla needs to look out for the first group, and this is the approach that satisfies those buyers. The gradual refinement of the system is going to lead to the second group seeing the technology as more mature. The wider adoption by folks who are in that second group today, Tesla hopes, will eventually lead to converts among the third.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @aatheus
        They leave it on because the car doesn't know when you mean to just leave temporarily or you want it off completely. Keep in mind the Model S doesn't use a key at all. The car starts itself when you sit down on the driver's seat. From reading the notes, even before this update the car will turn off screens after 60 hours of non-use.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          If it's the same off I saw when I test drove one, the additional wait time is tiny, maybe a second or two. It's not like waiting for the telematics to boot up your current car, which can easily be 10-15 seconds. One tricky thing about the current case is touching almost anything will turn the car back on or opening a door. So it'd be best if you can turn it off from outside the car, something you could not do with the current software. My only question would be is there anything the car can't do when it's off. Do the doorhandles not pop out to meet you? Simple loss of conveniences like that.
          kidcharlemgne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          @Rotation The "Power Off" button accessed through Control Panel (lower left) and the "power off" effect by shutting doors and walking away were identical "power off" cycles. They each put the car in an identically shallow level of sleep mode, and have no difference in "time to start up." The new deep sleep feature takes slightly longer to wake up. Glad I could clarify for you.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          @Rotation From what I'm reading, this is basically an automatic "off". It seems like it'll turn off every time now (rather than needing you to dig through a menu to do so). You just have to wait longer each time.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          There was also an "off" button in the menu system too. The systems would come back a bit slower after pressing that button. So I'm not really sure what this update is offering on that front.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who cares? Tesla already tells people to leave their car plugged in when it isn't in use always. And I wouldn't expect an electric car to lose 6% of its range each day it's not plugged in anyway. How about this headline: Tesla fixes insane battery draining behavior. "Improve voice command features". It has none. I asked the Tesla rep to demo them to me, right now it just pipes your phone. So this is a new feature, not a feature improvement.
        kidcharlemgne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Rotation, you need to get out of your Negative Nancy Cave. I just used the voice activation to find addresses, change music, call people, and a few other activities. It worked perfectly. Take your traveling thundercloud elsewhere and rain on something else equally dour and uninspired.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        3% on the 265 mile version
        kidcharlemgne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Hi I'm Rotation, everything makes me grumpy nowadays and I'm incapable of joy or appreciation. I used to be fun and clever, now I'm cantankerous. Huzzah!
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        It doesn't matter if the car is plugged in or not, as it doesn't seem to automatically top the battery off to compensate for the vampire load. They probably do this to extend battery life since the lower the average SOC of a lithium battery, the longer it will last.
      Jay Temkar
      • 2 Years Ago
      I will say they resolved a known Bug/problem which they didnt do while releasing the car...Surely this is not a new functionality this is a Bug/Problem.
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jay Temkar
        You obviously don't know that computers have had two different 'off' modes for years. They have sleep mode and power off. In sleep mode they consume more power than when are completely powered off. But the upshot is that it is ready for use in a few seconds instead of a minute. You win some, you loose some. The model S had sleep mode and now they added power off for mide those customers that want/need it. That does not seem like fixing a bug, but more a trade off for those willing to take a few extra seconds of boot time.
          Val
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          @raktmn that's right, even when my blackberry shuts down due to low battery, it will still sound the alarm, even when off, when the set time comes.
          danwat1234
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          But a sleep mode just keeps the RAM active, everything else is off. That takes less than a watt on a laptop (can be in sleep mode for days on a 6 cell laptop battery, ~55 watt hours capacity), shouldn't take much more on the model s.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Yep. Computers have had two different 'off' modes for years. Well, far more than two really. In true off (switch on the back) it takes no power. In off (waiting for you to press the button on the front) it takes less than a Watt. In sleep, it takes perhaps 2-3 Watts. 100W is a pretty crummy sleep state. I can run the entire laptop I'm using in less than half that. And that's on, not sleep, including the screen on.
          raktmn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Just to be clear, this is not a physical switching off mode. This is still another sleep mode, just with a much lower level of power drain. Any time you have a soft switch that doesn't physically break an electrical circuit, you have to have some type of computer/chip constantly monitoring for a soft button press. Cell phones don't have a true power off mode either, just standby and deep sleep modes. To really stop consuming all electricity, and stop all cpu activity, you have to pull the battery in a cell phone.
      Smoking_dude
      • 2 Years Ago
      First the Tesla is a great car, but a computer drawing constantly ~100 watts is not efficient at all. I don't get 8 more miles a day! The Model S is wasting 8 miles a Day. Tesla brags about making the sportscar that was designed as pure EV and so beeing perfectly designed. The battery that fits so snugly under car. That is great, but such a "dumb design" that is super impractical. Take the Volt or Leaf lits of criticicm bad 12V batters, but it can sit for months. disconnects the HV battery so it is save. It draws 8 miles per day, so if you just forget to plug it in briked battery in one day! Sometimes a dumb switch can be better it does not need to boot.
        danwat1234
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        My gaming laptop takes 100 watts at full tilt, but only 40 watts when idle, and my aunt's new Haswell laptop takes about 16 watts at idle with the screen on. The computer in the Tesla shouldn't take more than that max when idle with the screen off, except peaking higher when being used to update software and maintenance.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        I agree, the headline should be "Tesla Model S will loses less range in sleep mode" instead of "will gain range in sleep mode".
          Nick Kordich
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Actually, "Tesla Model S draws less power with sleep mode after software update" is most accurate. Most customers plug the car in overnight, so their range was unaffected. They'd just have a higher electrical bill, and along with that a bit more air pollution, equivalent to leaving one 100W bulb on in your garage, day and night (as one of my neighbors seems to have done for years, for some reason).
        David
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        While what you say is generally true, it does come off as slightly biased and misguided. At least, this issues was corrected within months of the car generally being available to the public via c firmware update... how many cars on the road today do you know that overall vehicle service/performance is improved via an over the air software update? Exactly none, which brings me to my next point.... New type of car...new type of problems. This is not just a start up company, but a company making a very very different type of car that they are putting over 8 years of R&D into. I think you have to be ridiculously delusional to not look at what Tela has accomplished with the Model S and at least admit that they have generally got waaaaay more right than they have got wrong. Lastly, and what is actually funny about this... this is not even a problem anyone was aware of until tesla pushed out this update and made this announcement. All they had to do was say "optimized battery maintenance and vehicle sleep systems to with the added benefit of you getting better range" and you will be none the wiser at all.
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        This dumb switch you speak of will not prevent the booting. Even if you had a hard switch, the car would still need to boot in ordrf for you to drive it. And tesla have explixitly said that as the car battery drains, the car will automatically go in deep sleep mode to prevent the battery from damage. The emptier the battery gets, the less self-discharge it has. This new update just enables users to choose if they want the car to go to sleep every time, not just when the battery is low.
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