Today I went to the Drive Electric Week event at XXX Rootbeer in Issaquah, Washington. It was a great event, with lots of different electric vehicles – including a few Tesla Roadsters – and Model S. While there I met Steven Lough, President Emeritus of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association. Steven told me about this video of him test driving a Tesla Roadster in a parking lot here in Bellevue (it looks like the old K-Mart lot which is now home to LA Fitness and Walmart). Fun video, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of driving a Tesla Roadster, but the video reminds me of Kids Having Fun in a Tesla.
The Model S navigation system will be a lot smarter. Navigation will now provide route suggestions based on real-time traffic and calculate estimated travel times accordingly. It will also update dynamically as traffic conditions change throughout your trip. This feature will also take into account traffic data shared by other Tesla vehicles on the road.
Navigation isn’t particularly useful when commuting between home and work because most of us usually know the way. But if traffic has an effect on a typical route, it’s helpful to know in advance. Now, Model S will monitor traffic before you even start your weekday commute and alert you with a pop-up message on the 17-inch touchscreen when a faster route is available.
Model S will synch with your smartphone to bring you a large in-car view of your daily schedule. If you’ve already set locations for particular events, you don’t have to worry about re-entering the details into your car’s navigation system. Instead, you can just tap on the event in your calendar to bring up route directions.
You will have the ability to start your Model S using only your smartphone. This function, which is particularly useful if you forget your key fob, will be accessible through the Tesla mobile app and requires you to input your password for each use.
If you regularly drive on roads or driveways that require higher than normal clearance, your Model S will remember where you previously selected high ride heights and automatically adjust the air suspension at those locations. This feature will be especially handy for people who have steep driveways. (Model S must be equipped with air suspension for this function to work.)
You can now make your Model S nickname official. The car’s name will appear in the Tesla mobile app and in the About Your Tesla section on the touchscreen. I’m still not sure what I will call my Model S when I get it, but am thinking ‘Manifestation’ or simply “Joe Tesla”.
A new power management option will put Model S into energy saving mode at night to help maximize available energy. There’ll also be an option that allows the Tesla mobile app to always connect immediately to the car, while still saving power.