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Continual improvement without model years?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Boatguy, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    I took delivery of an S90D in April 2016 so I'm almost half way through my 3yr lease and have driven it 17K miles, including two road trips of about 2,500mi each. That prompted me to take a peek at what I would get if I was to lease a new Tesla today.

    I configured a new Model S as close to mine as could be done and the result was a car that would cost $7,000 more than I paid 18 months ago, with these differences:
    • 41mi more rated range
    • A cosmetically different nose cone
    • Better headlights
    • A 400kWh SC allowance rather than my current unlimited SC usage
    • The phone dock that came with my car is now an optional extra
    • AP 2.0 which as far as I can tell just received an update to pretty much bring it to parity with my AP 1.0 car but is promised to become substantially better than AP 1.0 at some indeterminate time in the future.
    In the last 17 months I've seen these "continual improvements" from OTA updates:
    • Media player functionality and usability declined
    • Ease of use of the all CID apps declined in order to get another 3/8" of map area in the car's direction of travel.
    • Driver profiles linked to key fob (something I had in a 2012 Lexus)
    And I got a recall notice for a potential defect in the parking brake which has not been resolved after five months because the SvC does not have parts.

    In all fairness, the difference between model years in a Mercedes/BMW/Audi/Lexus is not always compelling either, but they definitely always do something that enhances the ownership experience. Maybe I'm seeing the glass half empty here, but it seems to me that all that happened is I would pay more to get a bigger battery, something I would not otherwise choose to do, but would now have no choice. Tesla has clearly struggled to bring the AP technology in-house since switching from Mobileye and thus far I see no reason to think they are likely to surge forward any time soon.

    I have to say I have very mixed emotions that Tesla has done nothing to make a new Tesla more compelling than my current car. Disappointed on one hand that Tesla has done so little with the Model S in the last 18 months, relieved on the other hand that I can look elsewhere to help stimulate the economy!
     
  2. Troy

    Troy Active Member

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    Tesla made quite a few changes since April 2016. You can see the list below. In addition, cars made since 21 Aug 2017 have the AP2.5 hardware with a new and improved front radar and faster autopilot computer.

    Model S - Options by Year - Tesla Motors Club Wiki
     
  3. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    In auto-lives, 18 months is not very long. Most manufactures refresh their cars every 5-6 years, while Tesla updates them continuously. As far as Auto Pilot, I think everyone agrees that AP2 is not perfect, but you would have a tough time finding a better auto steer system out there. Maybe you will be the one who tries the new Cadillac and reports back to the forum on its performance?
     
    • Funny x 1
  4. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    Change is not a synonym for improvement.
     
  5. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I think you have to think about a Tesla like an electronic product as well - like a smartphone. The innovation curve on the car is still pretty steep so it is going to become obsolete in a lot of ways pretty quickly. To be honest, I am surprised that it has happened in a more significant way, such as bigger/better screens in the car, faster processors, etc. When I ordered my Tesla back in Nov 2014 I expected that within 3-4 years that I would be craving all of the new functionality in the newer models - that hasn't happened to the extent that I expected - but perhaps that is because so much of Tesla's time and effort has been focused on the Model X and Model 3 rather than improving the Model S.
     
  6. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    Were you trying to say that you are surprised it has NOT happened?
     
  7. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Yes - I am surprised that it has not happened. What other product that was released over five years ago still has the same size and rez screen? Think of the phones, tablets, etc that existed that long ago.
     
  8. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    True, but does anyone really need a 1080p or 4k screen in a car while driving? Especially one that doesn't do any video? And I don't know about anyone else, but I surely don't need 1080p to see how close I am to the parking curb in the rear view camera.

    I'm perpetually amused by the obsession to always have the biggest, best, and highest of everything, ever -- regardless of the actual use cases.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I think a bigger screen would be useful - a bigger screen with higher resolution graphics could allow three or four apps to easily be displayed on the screen. You could have two large app windows, plus two smaller app windows for stuff like phone and media.
     
  10. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    I don't need a larger or higher res screen, but the quality of the apps is abysmal. If these apps were released in the Google or Apple app stores, they would languish without sales. The CID app quality is simply not worthy of the automotive engineering.

    Elon should be horribly embarrassed by the software he's putting in front of his customers. Navigation route planning is still in "beta" after two years? Who is he kidding? He could hire five college interns for the summer and raise the bar considerably.
     
  11. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Agree 100% I've ranted for pages on the "software" (and UI design) coming out of Tesla. "Abysmal" is being kind. I shout explicit expletives to Elon Musk every freaking time that map expands to cover the icons on the main screen. When I want an app, I want it in one immediate click, not two with an interminable delay between each. (I now put the nav map on the bottom, so it doesn't expand, but it's better on top).
     

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