The great thing about electric vehicles is that many of their features are software-based, which means that your car can gain new capabilities with just a simple download, much the way your smartphone does. To that end, Tesla has released a slick new promo video that shows off some of the features Model S owners will get once they upgrade to Tesla’s version 7.1 software.
In the video titled "Revolutionize Your Commute" two primary features of the software update are shown off: Summon and Autopilot. Summon is the ability for a driver to command their car to come to them—a virtual valet, if you will. In the promo, Summon is shown working when the driver in his kitchen at home taps a button on his Tesla smartphone app. Outside, the Model S activates and pulls out of the garage automatically, running and waiting for the driver as he steps out of his house.
The promo also shows off some of the Autopilot features of the Tesla 7.1 update. Autopilot is software that assists the driver in many of the common tasks they do while at the wheel of the car. It was actually released last year, but in version 7.1 of the Tesla software the Autopilot feature gains more safety restrictions—only allowing it to operate when the car is moving under the posted speed limit.
In the video, Autopilot is shown keeping the car at speed in a single lane, even where the lane curves, while keeping it at a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. With a single tap of the blinker, Autopilot automatically switches lanes when it is safe to do so. And finally, when the driver returns home that night Autopilot automatically notifies him of where street parking is and parallel parks the car for him.
If this video whets your appetite, just imagine what fully autonomous vehicles, like those reportedly coming from Apple, Google, and Tesla will be like. The only bad thing about the Summon and Autopilot features of the Tesla 7.1 update is that some Tesla owners will have to pay for them—at a cost of around $3,000. However, many Tesla owners may have already paid a $2,500 fee, which includes this software update, when they bought their Tesla, so be sure to check with the company.
Check out the full "Revolutionize Your Commute" promo video below.