Most of us know what it’s like to fire up our phones and download an over-the-air firmware update on the run. And it seems that this “download and go” mentality is bleeding over into other areas of life too. Case in point: More than 100 Tesla Model S owners will soon be getting an OTA software update for their sedans.
Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler are both said to be working on OTA upgrades for next year, but Tesla beat them to the punch. When the release goes live, which is slated to be some time within the next couple of weeks, it will reportedly mark the the first time in history that drivers will be able to download system updates this way. In automotive, things like this would generally be handled by a dealer or authorized mechanic trained to handle the system’s software.
The changes themselves aren’t too sexy — Firmware v1.9.11 is a required release that adapts the range calculator (reducing the vehicle’s estimated driving range by 45 miles), triggers the instrument panel and touchscreen when any door opens (as opposed to just the driver’s), and other minor tweaks.
In order to perform the update, which takes a couple of hours, the car needs to be parked. If it’s plugged in, the process will interrupt the charge temporarily. As for the matter of how the software will be downloaded, the connection may use the sedan’s 3G connection or hop on the owner’s home Wi-Fi.