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Tesla pulls the wraps off Software Version 9 update

This feature-packed update adds a ton of functionality to Teslas of all ages and is available now.


The long-awaited ninth version of Tesla's software was announced on Friday and is now available to customers. By the looks of things, the wait was totally worth it.

What's new in this major overhaul? Well, tons actually, but we'll start with the Tesla app. First of all, Tesla will now allow you to initiate a software update through its app, no longer requiring you to be in the car which is super convenient.

The app will also now let you send navigation info from your phone to the car by using the Share button in your favorite map app. Finally, your passengers can control the media in-car with their phones -- unless you shut them out, you radio dictator!

The updates to Tesla's vehicle software bring new functionality to Teslas of every age, including the Model 3.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Dashcam mode is now a thing, officially, so long as your car was built with Hardware v2.5 (aka after August of 2017). The system lets you record footage to a USB drive while operating the vehicle. Based on images we've seen, the footage isn't amazing (or in color), but it's cool nonetheless.

Another huge deal with Autopilot hardware is that, with Version 9, all eight Autopilot cameras are utilized, allowing you to see a 360-degree view around your vehicle. Blind-spot monitoring gets a significant upgrade in that it now uses the mirror cameras in addition to the ultrasonic sensors and will broadcast a picture from those cameras to the center screen. We also like that Tesla has added more visualizations for vehicles in Autopilot, so the system will now differentiate between cars, large trucks and motorcycles.

Navigate on Autopilot isn't available yet, but Version 9 lays the groundwork for it in future updates. Regular navigation gets some tweaks though. Models S and X get enhanced route information in their center screens, including highway exits and more. Model 3 moves turn-by-turn instructions to the left side of the screen. Owners can also select whether their car is able to use the carpool lane, and the navigation system will take that into consideration when calculating routes.

Climate control gets some updates as well. For Models S and X, you can now control all your climate functions, including seat and steering wheel heaters, from one screen -- no more hunting through menus. On Model 3, you can adjust the temperature inside the vehicle by swiping left and right across the temperature control setting.

Finally, the last big change is something called Obstacle-Aware Acceleration. This essentially limits the amount of acceleration your vehicle will allow if its sensors detect an object in its path while at low speeds.

Tesla is also throwing in some Atari arcade games as Easter eggs that can be accessed while in Park, but people will have to find them, and Tesla isn't saying which games they are. We're hoping for Pitfall! To make an appearance.

Tesla Model 3 Performance: A high price to pay for some impressive performance.

Tesla Model 3 Long-Range: Prefer to go the distance, but at a (slightly) slower pace? This one's for you.