Elon says Tesla needs to improve the car’s software | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

By Kevin Armstrong

Tesla’s software needs work. That’s according to Elon Musk, who was highly critical of the interface, the browser and other programs in a video posted to the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley YouTube channel.

“We have a lot of work to do actually with the basic software in the car,” said Musk. “We definitely need to do work on the overall interface in the car.”

It was revolutionary when Tesla started putting large tablets in its vehicles in 2012. The huge touchscreen replaced most of the knobs and switches on the dashboard, giving Tesla yet another way to stand out in the automotive world.

However, touchscreens are relatively standard in most vehicles now, and there may be a few automakers doing it as well as Tesla soon, especially given the upcoming improvements to Apple’s CarPlay.

Musk has heard the criticism, “there are a lot of complaints about the interface; you can do better on the interface.”

Musk doesn’t stop with his self-critiquing, “our web browser sucks. If you try to use the web browser in the car, it takes a long time to load, and then it is a trash browser. It’s worse than some iPad from five years ago, like by a lot.”

Tesla’s browser is based on Google’s open-source browser, Chromium. While the same engine powers Google Chrome, the browser in a Tesla lacks the speed and efficiency Musk expects.

Tesla has been working to improve the browser. Update 2022.12 came with a newer version of Chromium and introduced elements like autocomplete, changes to favorites and the ability to clear your browser cache.

However, this interview was conducted almost three months after that update was first released. Musk is clearly not impressed with the improvements.

He also says the rear screens in the Model S and Model X need a lot of work (rear screens may also come to Model 3 and Model Y).

The CEO points out that the rear screen is helpful to entertain people in the backseat, but the fact that the same audio plays throughout the cabin is less than ideal.

“We could, we should have separate audio for the back. Like, what is the point? We are currently playing the same audio level for the back screen as we do in the front.”

The first minivans with DVD players offered headphone jacks to provide an experience that wouldn’t distract the driver.

“The back should play that audio; it should route to a Bluetooth that is keyed off of the rear screen, and then you give them headphones. So people can listen to music in the front and not get blasted by YouTube kids shows in the front, which is currently the situation.”

It’s possible Tesla could offer the ability to stream the rear audio to Bluetooth headphones in a future update.

Musk added that “there’s a bunch of stuff like that that we need to fix.”

Musk did not commit to a timeline on making improvements or even if the changes he suggested will be made. Nevertheless, when a CEO says elements of the product “suck” and are “trash,” employees responsible for those aspects may want to get to work.

By Jorge Aguirre

Tesla's Camp Mode allows you to maintain USB ports powered and keep the climate running

Say you’re cruising down a deserted highway in your Tesla and you’re starting to get sleepy, or you’re taking a road trip through a national park and the nearest hotel is too far away… so you pull out your mattress from your trunk, fold your backseats down and get ready to spend the night in the comfort of your car. The next thing you do is turn on Camp Mode.

When your Tesla is in Camp Mode it will maintain the optimum temperature and airflow inside the cabin (which you can adjust to your convenience). Your lighting setup will also be maintained, and even the music if you want to listen to some chill tunes while you relax inside your car.

Camp also keeps your low voltage outlet and USB ports powered so that you can charge or use your electronic devices.

The touchscreen also remains on so you can play music, browse the internet, play games in the arcade, or watch shows in Tesla Theater (requires Premium Connectivity or Wi-Fi).

Sentry Mode and Alarm

While Camp Mode is active, Sentry Mode and the vehicle alarm system are disabled, as well as auto lock (so you don’t have to constantly lock and unlock the car as you come and go). Because of this it might be a good idea to manually lock the car when you go to sleep. You can also re-enable Sentry Mode after Camp Mode has been activated if you choose to.

How to Turn Camp Mode On

To enable camp mode, set your car to park, tap the temperature icon at the bottom of the screen and then tap on ‘Camp’.

You can also enable it using the Tesla app. Tap the Climate section, slide up the bottom drawer and select the ‘Camp’ option.

Turning Camp Mode Off

To turn Camp Mode off simply shift the vehicle out of Park or disable the mode either via your smartphone or by tapping on the temperature icon at the bottom of your screen and selecting a different mode.

Some drivers recommend creating a Camp driver profile, which automatically sets your preferences for when you’re ready to crash for the night. Make any necessary modifications, such as moving the seats all the way forward, and then select your chosen temperature.

How Much Power does it Drain?

In an eight-hour period, the typical battery consumption of Camp Mode is roughly 10% of the charge. The battery will be consumed more quickly if it is really cold or there is bad weather, simply because the car will have to work harder to maintain the interior temperature you’ve selected.

Even at low temperatures for an eight-hour period, you’re looking at a 15 percent usage rate.

Tesla’s vehicles equipped with heat pumps like Tesla Model Y or the 2021 Model 3 should be slightly more efficient while in Camp Mode.

The power drain of Camp Mode, however, is not an exact science, and it will vary greatly depending on many factors such as outside temperature and in-cabin settings – don’t risk depleting your battery.

If you’re staying at an RV park it is good to remember that many of them offer an option to charge your electric vehicle, which would be the ideal condition to run Camp Mode in.

What Happens if the Battery Gets too Low?

You cannot use Camp Mode if the battery percentage goes below 15%, in order to save the battery from depletion and allow you to reach the nearest charging station.

Which Models have Camp Mode?

All current and past Tesla vehicles have Camp Mode as a standard feature. It is also not required to have access to Tesla’s Premium Connectivity in order to receive notifications regarding Camp Mode, or to enable it from your smartphone.

Also be sure to check out our in-depth look at Dog Mode if you haven’t already.

By Alex Jones

Tesla has reintrouced Enhanced Autopilot in the US

Following the return of Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) to Australia and other countries, Tesla has once again begun offering the package in the US.

Enhanced Autopilot is priced at $6,000, exactly half of Tesla’s FSD package.

Longtime Tesla owners are no stranger to EAP and its functionality. Enhanced Autopilot was offered as an option in the US several years ago, but the option was removed in 2019 when Tesla restructured their Driver Assitance System (DAS) options.

Prior to 2019, Teslas did not include any Autopilot features with their vehicles, but offered two paid add-ons, Enhanced Autopilot and FSD.

In 2019 Tesla introduced basic Autopilot that came standard with every vehicle.

Date FSD Cost
April 2019 $5,000
May 2019 $6,000
August 2019 $7,000
July 2020 $8,000
October 2020 $10,000
January 2022 $12,000

Basic Autopilot includes traffic-aware cruise control and lane keeping, basically allowing your vehicle to drive on the highway. Basic Autopilot however does not include the ability for your vehicle to change lanes based on traffic or your route.

When Tesla introduced basic Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot was removed as an option and the FSD package became the sole add-on.

The FSD option has slowly increased in price as Tesla has increased its capabilities. With the last price increase in January 2022, FSD now costs $12,000 in the US.

With FSD’s increased capabilities and price, there was now a large gap between basic Autopilot and FSD, in terms of function and price. This made it an ideal time for Tesla to reintroduce Enhanced Autopilot.

Subscription

Tesla also offers a FSD subscription for $99 – $199, depending on your current Autopilot package.

For vehicles with EAP, the FSD subscription costs $99, while for those with basic Autopilot, it’s a $199/month subscription.

The subscription requires your vehicle to have the FSD computer (hardware 3.0).

Enhanced Autopilot and FSD packages are non-transferrable (tied to the car, not the driver), but the monthly subscription can be stopped on one vehicle and added to another at any time. There is currently no monthly subscription for Enhanced Autopilot.

What’s Included

Enhanced Autopilot, Tesla’s new mid-tier option, offers several features that are not available in basic Autopilot, including:

Auto lane change: The ability for your vehicle to perform lane changes on the highway and take on ramps and off ramps automatically (driver will need to confirm by applying tension on the steering wheel).

Autopark: Your vehicle will be able to park itself when it detects an available parking spot.

Summon: The ability to retrieve your car from a tight parking spot by having it move forward or backward.

Smart summon: Your vehicle will be able to drive to you in a parking out.

The only major self-driving feature missing from Enhanced Autopilot is the ability for the car to navigate city streets, which is only included in the FSD package.

While the parking and summoning features of Enhanced Autopilot are fun, the biggest advantage to upgrade to EAP is to have automated lane changes on the highway and the ability to subscribe to a cheaper FSD subscription.

Enhanced Autopilot is available for purchase now through the Tesla app.




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