Tesla’s Latest Software Release Includes Safety, Performance Features

Tesla released its latest software update (2020.32.1), which includes a number of safety and performance improvements.

Tesla is now offering “Dynamic Brake Lights” in new markets after releasing the feature to Europe in March 2019. Unfortunately, the functionality will likely not be available in the United States for some time. Government regulations indicate that brake lights are only allowed to glow brighter than taillights to indicate braking.

Tesla describes the feature: “If you are driving over 50 km/h (31 mph) and brake forcefully, the brake lights will now flash quickly to warn other drivers that your car is rapidly slowing down,” Tesla said in the release notes. “If your car stops completely, the hazard warning lights will flash until you press the accelerator or manually press the hazard warning lights button to turn them off.”

A new “Tesla Powerwall Coordination” feature coordinates with Powerwall for “enhanced charging during a power outage, without exceeding the energy and power capabilities of your Powerwall system.” Powerwall continuously responds to the changing power needs of your home and will slow or stop your car’s charging, keeping your home loads powered.

During a power outage, your car will charge from the Powerwall whenever the Powerwall is above the threshold set in the Tesla mobile app. You can change this threshold to balance your home and transportation energy needs. Powerwall can also use surplus solar to charge your vehicle during an outage if you keep your car plugged in while the sun is shining.

Tesla also released some interesting suspension improvements. The car now offers a real-time visualization of how the suspension system is dynamically adjusting each wheel’s damping to account for changing road conditions. 

Adaptive Suspension Damping now has an “Advanced” setting that allows drivers to set custom levels of ride comfort and handling in addition to the existing Comfort, Auto, and Sport settings.

Tesla said in the release notes:

We have simplified the Tesla suspension control logic to better support both temporary and more permanent heights. If Ride Height is manually adjusted to High or Very High, your car now automatically lowers after you drive a short distance. For snowy or off-road conditions, tap “Keep” next to the Ride Height slider to keep the height at High or Very High until you reach the maximum allowed speed. For steep driveways or places where you repeatedly need a higher ride height, tap “Always Auto-Raise at this Location.” This feature will raise suspension to the saved height when re-entering the location.

Finally, the suspension system now automatically adjusts between Standard and Low ride heights to optimize ride comfort and range, depending on road type. If you prefer your car to remain lower to the ground, enable “Default Ride Height to Low.”

Other new features include a mobile notification if the trunk, the front trunk, or any door is left open for over ten minutes. If all doors and trunks are locked, a notification will be sent if any window is detected to be open ten minutes after leaving the car.

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