How Tesla Software Updates Work & How Often They Roll Out Explained

Software updates are among the many benefits that Tesla vehicle owners can enjoy. A Tesla is already a great car when it rolls out of the factory, but it just keeps getting better with each over-the-air update that arrives. In fact, Tesla continues to operate at a remarkably quick pace when it comes to upgrades, releasing smaller changes frequently.

Tesla rallies behind a few unique concepts that make its vehicles stand out from traditional car manufacturers. Besides being electric cars in a world filled with fossil fuel transportation, Tesla began with online ordering, unlike the dealership format used by others. The large amount of data provided from the fleet of smart cars on the road worldwide, and ongoing software updates tailored with those statistics, may be the edge that makes it harder for the older generation of motor companies to catch up to the rapid innovation pouring from Tesla.

Tesla vehicles benefit from over-the-air updates, with improvements being made often and new features added in more significant upgrades arriving about once a month, sometimes sooner. These updates can make driving the car safer and improve performance, handling, and tech capabilities. Owners are notified when an update is available, via the Tesla mobile app and will also receive an alert on their vehicle touchscreen. These come as a roll-out, meaning not every car gets the update at the same time, with the staggered release helping to prevent congestion on Tesla’s servers. When an update is available, a yellow download icon will appear at the top of the touchscreen. Downloads can be started from the car or from the mobile app and usually complete within thirty minutes or less. If there is a problem with the installation, there are some troubleshooting tips available on the Tesla website.

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How To Install A Tesla Update & View Notes

Tesla vehicles receive major over-the-air updates about once a month and smaller updates every more frequently, though it does vary. When notified of an update on the mobile app or via the car’s touchscreen, the owner can tap on the yellow download icon on the touchscreen to schedule an update for later or to begin immediately. Scheduling will turn the icon white and tapping again allows rescheduling. An alternate method is to go to Controls and then Software. If Update available is shown, tapping the message allows scheduling or immediate installation. From that same settings page, there is a Software Update Preference that enables updates to be installed as soon as they are available by changing the option from Standard to Advanced. Scheduling or installing can also be done via the Tesla mobile app.

When a download begins, the download icon will turn green and will stay that way until complete. An update cannot be canceled once it has started and the car cannot be driven or charged while updating. This is a safety measure, since the software is integral to a Tesla vehicle. The scheduling feature allows the user to avoid any conflicts with driving or charging. To check the changes and features that come with an over-the-air update, the owner can tap the Tesla ‘T’ at the top of the car’s touchscreen. A new window will open and tapping ‘Release Notes’ at the bottom will show any available information about the latest update. Tesla’s over-the-air updates allow its vehicles to get better over time, while competing cars from traditional manufacturers just age and become less valuable.

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Source: Tesla

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