Tesla introduces new software update that comes with Netflix and ‘Car-aoke’

Sep 26, 2019, 6:44 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm
Some Tesla owners will soon have more to do in their cars than simply driving them. Karaoke, anyone...
Some Tesla owners will soon have more to do in their cars than simply driving them. Karaoke, anyone? Full Credit: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The car company on Thursday announced its latest software update, Version 10, which will offer a number of new features that range from a self-driving feature to Caraoke, a tool that brings a library of songs and lyrics in multiple languages to the car’s center console.

Customers will start receiving prompts to update their cars’ software in the coming days.

Calling it Tesla’s “biggest software update ever” Version 10 “is yet another example of how Tesla ownership continues to get better over time,” the company said in its blog post announcing the update.

Tesla delivered a record 95,000 cars in the three months ending in June, but it has still struggled to turn a profit in recent quarters. The company projected it would grow earnings for the quarter ending in September, an aim that may be helped by the new offerings.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the new software’s features:

New self-driving capability

Called “Smart Summon,” this new feature will make it possible for cars to navigate through a parking lot to its owner — without anyone inside — so long as the car is within the owner’s line of sight. Smart Summon is available for customers who purchased full self-driving capability or enhanced autopilot on their cars.

“It’s the perfect feature to use if you have an overflowing shopping cart, are dealing with a fussy child, or simply don’t want to walk to your car through the rain,” Tesla said in a blog post. The company did add, though, that customers who use the feature “must remain responsible for the car and monitor it and its surroundings at all times.”

In-car entertainment

With the update, Tesla customers who drive a Model S, Model X or Model 3 will be able to connect their Netflix, Hulu and YouTube accounts to the center console to watch — as long as they’re parked. China-based customers will be able to connect iQiyi and Tencent Video, and Tesla said it expects to add more streaming and entertainment services over time.

Also available in the center console will be Tesla tutorial videos to teach customers more about their vehicles, something Tesla executives mentioned as a priority on the company’s last earnings call. They said many customers visit service centers simply out of confusion over how to use the autopilot feature.

Tesla is also expanding music offerings, with access to Spotify Premium, and adding games to Tesla Arcade.

Exploring with Tesla

Activating the new “I’m Feeling Lucky” and “I’m Feeling Hungry” features in the cars’ navigation systems will prompt people’s cars to lead them to a nearby restaurant or “point of interest.”

“In testing, we’ve been taken to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, gourmet meals, national parks, city landmarks and more,” the company said in the post.

Also new in navigation: Tesla said it has improved its maps so search results will be sorted by distance to each destination, and drivers can select a destination to view business ratings, initiate a phone call or being navigating to that location.

Remote Access

Along with the Version 10 update comes new mobile software, which will allow people with the Tesla app to open and close their garage doors, defrost the vehicle’s cabin and open and shut windows remotely from the app.

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Tesla introduces new software update that comes with Netflix and ‘Car-aoke’