Tesla announced a new update coming to its Model S car this year which should make it impossible to ever drive too far away from a charging station, at least on purpose. The company also confirmed plans to add auto-steering features later this year.
Ahead of the recent event, CEO Elon Musk promised to kill “range anxiety” once and for all, describing the concern some Tesla drivers feel over whether they’ll be able to reach a charging station in time. Once the firmware update (version 6.2) hits, it will add a Range Assurance application that keeps track of your location and the nearest chargers. The app, which always runs in the background, will send a notification to the driver if he or she is about to wander out of range so that they can turn around in time.
“This makes it effectively impossible for a Model S driver to run out of range unintentionally,” Musk said.
Version 6.2 should roll out in the next two weeks. It also includes a new Trip Planner feature that helps map out longer trips based on the location of charging stations along your route.
Finally, Musk gave us a quick taste of Tesla’s Version 7 software, which won’t launch until later this year. The new firmware will include a total refresh of the Model S user interface. It’s also set to add auto-steering features, if equipped, to keep the car in its lane. Musk claims you can almost make it from San Francisco to Seattle without ever touching the wheel.
Version 7 is set to include a ton of new feature, though it likely won’t arrive for at least a few more months. Until then, we’re looking forward to Version 6.2 and the updates that come with it.