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2018.28.1 to 2018.50.6; 5 months of software changes in 1 hour (long)


Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
San Jose, CA
This is being written from the perspective of somebody who experienced a 5 month change in software capabilities, virtually within the space of an hour. I assume that most people here have been updating as each software version has been released so this is for anybody who's been in my position of not wanting to, or not being able to, update.

TL;DR version: Updates generally positive but still needs work in places. If you've been cursed with failing software updates, ask Tesla service for an OTA SD card reformat and see if that fixes it.

I had been stuck on 2018.28.1 since about the end of July. I've only received that one update since getting the car. All of that time was essentially intentional; I did not want or need any updates so I really wasn't concerned that I wasn't getting them as they were released. That changed when I bought a fob and needed to update. I had requested that Tesla push out the latest software to me several times since December but the updates failed to install. I have also recently added a Wi-Fi repeater in my garage as the signal out to my driveway has been pretty weak. As it turns out, I might have had an issue with the car in that the Sunnyvale Service Center performed an over-the-air reformat of the SD card before the last update (2018.50.6) was finally installed. At least that's what they told me via email, just prior to coming in for a service appointment. Note that I had no other detectable problems with the car. Everything seemed to be working as it should. I should also note that I did not purchase EAP with the car but added it on about two months later. This would have been after getting the 28.1 update. Don't know if these two things are connected; just FYI.

With only a couple of days of using the new software under my belt, these are the things that have improved (+) or taken a step backward or hasn't been realized yet (-) IMO:
  • Tesla App:
    • (+) Improved control over climate settings. Great to be able to pre-heat the seats.
    • (-) Not so great to have the seat heaters not remember their last settings after being parked. The app constantly turns on the rear seats when enabling climate control, even though almost all of the time I'm the only one in the car. Maybe allow the app or the car to set defaults to seat heater settings?
  • Automatic wipers:
    • (+/-) Appears to have increased the sensitivity to the amount of drops on the windshield. This is both an improvement and a step backward since now it might be too sensitive. Most of the time with the old software the wipers would not activate when I thought they should, meaning the entire windshield was covered with drops and I couldn't see the car in front of me. A couple of times now when I get in the car, the wipers run non-stop for about 30 seconds (real fast at first), continuing even when the whole windshield had been wiped dry. It used to be just two to three wipes when the windshield was wet and then it stopped. I haven't driven the car in the rain much since the update so I'll be monitoring it. On the whole, it's safer to be on the too sensitive side but it would be nice if there was some sort of a user control that adjusts the sensitivity.
  • Lack of bass in the audio system:
    • (-) I use the graphic equalizer to push the lowest (bass) frequency to the highest setting. With the update to 50.6 the bass response seems to have diminished just a bit.
  • Vehicles around the car:
    • (+) It's nice to see that vehicles around the car are now realistically rendered; a car is a car, a truck is a truck, even motorcycles.
    • (+) Blind spot coverage has been added. Great to be able to see vehicles on the display that are located in my left and right blind spots, in addition to directly behind.
    • (-) There should be an audible warning if the turn signals are activated and there's something behind and along side of me. Invoking the alert with the turn signals seems to me to be a very logical connect for a cause-and-effect acknowledgement of the danger involved. Plus it might get people to use their blinkers more often.
    • (-) Can something be done with eliminating the vibrating / jumping vehicle images when stopped at a light? It's a distraction to keep seeing things moving around out of the corner of my eye, when those vehicles obviously can't do that. This was seen during a bright sunshiny day; should have been nothing obscuring the side cameras, as well as at nighttime.
  • Traffic overlay on the map:
    • (-) I miss the green stretches of road. Before, all roads covered by traffic sensors would have green highlights if traffic was (supposed to be) running smoothly. Now, it's just orange and red (and black?) segments. I assume that it was changed this way in order to cut down on the amount of LTE data that is being transferred. Sometimes I think that the map has not updated in some sections or that the car is not connected via LTE (yeah, I know that in the Bay Area NOT to have traffic slowdowns somewhere no matter what time of day is pretty rare).
    • (-) Change the orange sections to yellow. Easier to tell the difference between that and red; might have to consult an expert on colorblindness to ensure that change is acceptable to the population at large.
  • Re-arrangement of icons on the top of the map:
    • (+) Nice to have some of the icons on the left-hand side now; clock, temperature, although they could be a bit larger.
    • (-) Not so nice to have some move right; profiles. Yes I know you're supposed to set the driver profile before starting out. But I have a profile that keeps all my settings but moves the side mirrors in so that I can see what's coming up from behind me (i.e., not covering my blind spots). I use this when I'm in stop-and-go traffic to see if there's a motorcycle line splitting. I can then move left or right in the lane and give them more room to pass. Minor gripe as I'm usually stopped or creeping along when I change profiles.
  • Re-arrangement of items on the map:
    • (-) Moving the map controls (orientation, zoom, satellite view, traffic, Superchargers) to the far right. I'd rather have them remain on the left, where I use them more than the route directions when navigating to a location.
  • Replacement of phone icon with up arrow:
    • (-) I get that there's limited room in the UI for adding additional features but a couple of the ones in the new sub-menu are duplicates of what already exists (charging, rear camera). Adding another level of button pushes to get to what you want should be minimized.
  • Navigate on Autopilot: Have not attempted to use this for the moment.
  • Easter eggs/games: Ditto.
  • Web browser: Ditto.
  • EAP:
    • (+) TACC following distances seems to have increased. I typically use setting 2 to maintain distance from the vehicle in front of me. Kept at 2, the distance appears to have increased. I suppose it's for safety reasons to give TACC a little bit more time to react to traffic. Oh yeah, it's would be useful if the follow distance setting number is displayed on the screen at all times. Maybe between the front of my car and the one ahead of me? Then I wouldn't have to push the right scroll wheel to see what it is and then have to push it in the opposite direction to keep the same setting. I do change it from time-to-time depending upon the traffic conditions.
    • (+) Lane keeping in Auto Steer mode seems to be the same but I've only used it a couple of times so far.
  • Fob:
    • (+) This was really my only reason for updating the software. Success rate at unlocking the car when using my phone (Samsung Galaxy J3) has been declining recently. There have been several times that I've walked up to the car and it has refused to unlock right away, or even after 5-10 seconds. Of course toggling bluetooth or airplane mode off then on does the trick but all the while I look like a Fool (In The Rain), or a potential thief, standing next to the car fiddling with my phone. What happens when Sentry Mode rolls out? Will the time spent standing next to the car without it recognizing a valid phone or keycard presence be enough to trip the alarm? When I use the fob to unlock the car I know it has unlocked (audio and visual cues). Furthermore I can do so at some distance from the car. I don't care that it takes up room in my pocket; I have separate keychains for each one of my 3 other vehicles. I only can drive one car at a time. It's rare that I need to have two sets in my pocket. My family's last five vehicles have had fobs, some smarter than others, so I'm used to having to push a button to lock and unlock.
    • (-) What would be nice to have are dedicated buttons to lock and unlock, like all my other fobs. Pressing the same spot on the fob once to lock and twice to unlock seems prone to mis-reads. How about a quick press to unlock and a long press to lock?
    • (-) The cost of a fob. Maybe some day they will turn up on eBay at a cheaper price. I know that $100+ is about the price for any of these smart fobs (Nissan, BMW, in my experience) but I digress since this is supposed to be a software post.
  • Mirror dimming:
    • (-) Still would be helpful to be able to control dimming of the rear view mirrors (all 3), either in the amount of automatic dimming (low, high) or simply off/on. I like to see everything around me at night. Glare doesn't bother me; missing a small detail because the mirror is too dark does.
  • CHAdeMO support:
    • (-) It's been over a year since I was told by some people here that CHAdeMO support was going to be available via an OTA software update. Still waiting (AFAIK, since I haven't yet tried connecting the car to one of the ChargePoint DC stations at work since the 50.6 update)....
Overall the pluses outweigh the minuses; I'm not counting the number of instances but more on a weighted basis. The improvements, like being able to use a fob, is a significant advantage despite the cost and button usage. That's about all that I have now. I'll update if/when I find other things that have changed for the better or worse.
  • Disagree
Reactions: MarkBrokeIt


Dec 11, 2016
(-) There should be an audible warning if the turn signals are activated and there's something behind and along side of me. Invoking the alert with the turn signals seems to me to be a very logical connect for a cause-and-effect acknowledgement of the danger involved. Plus it might get people to use their blinkers more often.
Ask and ye shall receive. This feature is part of the first 2019.xx.xx software update that has started to be pushed.

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