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How do most Tesla Owners view the OTA function?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Jashev, Jun 26, 2019.

?

How do you view the OTA Update Feature?

  1. Excellent, major plus for Tesla

    78.8%
  2. Good, allows me to add new features to the car

    7.5%
  3. Okay but not a must for me

    1.3%
  4. Fair, sometimes adds good stuff but I'd rather not have it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor, hate getting updates and try not to install updates in my car.

    12.5%
  1. Jashev

    Jashev Supporting Member

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    Curious as to the overall feeling about Tesla OTA updates.
     
  2. Patrick W

    Patrick W Active Member

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    #2 Patrick W, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Love 'em. Always looking forward to the next one.

    Granted, not always perfect. Sometimes a new update will introduce a new "oops" but that's why the firmware is called beta. Find the problem, report the problem and move on.

    Other car makers have talked about over the air updates but does anyone other than Tesla currently offer them?
     
    • Like x 2
  3. Big Toys

    Big Toys Member

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    So far, I have not felt any ill effects of the OTAs, nor do I really know what changes. I can't tell you if my car runs any better. I do know that my browser still sucks after it started to work passibly a few weeks ago. I just got the newest update yesterday. I just want it to start and drive. I did notice that I haven't had the reboot when getting into and trying to start the car, so far.
     
  4. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    The car is significantly different than when I bought it. It adds to the desire to drive it.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    What other car that’s two years old, isn’t?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. dethman

    dethman Member

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    It's meh. Breaks stuff as well as adds stuff. I'd rather stick with one well written bug free firmware than get a bunch of buggy beta pushes.

    For example, just when I think AP is working right and I know when to rely on it, in comes a software update and it goes all wonky again.
     
  7. Minecon_CA

    Minecon_CA Member

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    It's not good for AP1 cars; version 8 was the peak of features (besides for games) for AP1. If you have the newer autopilot, then yes, the new software updates are good.
     
  8. whitex

    whitex Well-Known Member

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    It sounds good in theory, but in practice it works out more negative than positive.
    1. Allows Tesla to ship unfinished product, then wither never deliver or deliver something super underwhelming, basically if you knew what it was going to be and when, you'd have never paid for it
    2. Adds bugs, sometimes dangerous ones, sometimes causing damage. In 6 years of owning Teslas, had one very close call, and one actual broken mirror ($600) due to an OTA update
    3. As Tesla improves their hardware, the old hardware is forced to run software written for the new hardware, so it runs slow, and if form factor changes the new UI is forced and not designed for best user experience. Also, new bugs take months to fix on old hardware, if ever (e.g. browser was broken on v9 for MCU1 for many months) - if it doesn't affect new car sales, it's low on Tesla priority list.
    4. Because Tesla doesn't test their stuff exhaustively, they've been known to neuter their existing products post sale via OTA, for example cutting max range, power, and/or charging speeds as they learned over time that things break
    5. Gives Tesla the excuse of "OTA update will fix it", which they try for everything, even the yellowing screens.
    I apply updates because I want security updates, but usually dread what they might have broken, slowed down, or limited now. I wish Tesla would complete a product before shipping it,then offer bugfix/security patches only for that car (new cars, sure, create a new generation of software with new features, but don't force it on older cars). But that is not their business model.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Love x 1
  9. TB205gti

    TB205gti Member

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    I love being able to test the beta software that Tesla provides. Always funny to find the new "secret gem" in their software..
     
  10. whitex

    whitex Well-Known Member

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    #10 whitex, Jun 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    So, not all "secret gems" are fun to find.

    My wife found a "secret gem" once, when Tesla decided to add a feature to force unfold mirrors as soon as the car starts moving. So, after a year of driving a car where the mirrors stayed folded if you manually folded them, she parked in a tight spot she had parked many times before. On the way out of the spot, she folded the mirrors to clear a concrete post, started backing up, and crack, pop goes the mirror - $600 to fix. Tesla corrected the issue in the very next software release, now they force unfold above some minimim speed, not 0mph, but too late for us.

    I found a similar "secret gem" on a coast to coast trip 2.5 years ago, when a software update turned the front windshield defrost button into a frost button, literally causing ice to form on the windshield and be getting stuck on a highway with zero windshield visibility until I realized that freezing air is blowing on the windshield causing fog on the outside to freeze, stuck my head out the window until I could find a place to pull over. Also corrected in the next update by the way, again, still almost caused an accident.

    Then there are those "secret gems" like air suspension was disabled by Tesla in an update in 2013 in an overreaction to media FUD - they wouldn't turn it back on for months! Others have experiences power limitations, launch mode limits, etc.

    I had a Lexus for almost 8 years, and when I was selling it everything still worked the way it came, just as fast. I have a 4 year old Tesla, which doesn't even have all the features it had when I bought it, and it is noticeably slower. Tesla OTA sounds great to new owners, those who have had a few years with Tesla OTA will disagree.
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. TB205gti

    TB205gti Member

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    Just to be clear - I was being sarcastic. :)
     
  12. iqless

    iqless Member

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    Atlantic US
    It's good if you have a newer Tesla. If you don't...

    Go to threads from owners of 85-90 kWh battery packs and you'll see everybody's dreading the updates because Tesla has lately decreased peak power and range of some of those battery packs.

    On top of that, a couple months ago they did an update that took launch mode and max battery mode away completely in P85D and P90D cars. It took them months to fix it. Can you imagine having paid for a crazy expensive performance vehicle but not being able to use the performance features for months because of the amazing OTA updates that "keep your car new"?

    It's also bad for MCU1 owners. The new interface is considerably slower than the old interface. (Even for MCU2 owners, I'd also argue that the new interface is just inferior to the old one, but that one is my subjective opinion)

    I've had a 85D (AP1, MCU1) for the last 2 and a half years and underwent countless updates. To be completely fair, I don't think I've liked any update. The interface just got slower and slower, and I am not sure this all added anything to my experience. The big nav update was maybe an overall positive change (only because now it shows exit numbers) but apart from that and some non-serious stuff like games and fart mode, I don't have any positive experience with updates, but I have plenty of negative ones. In fact, if I could go back to the software version my car originally came in, I would.

    There have been no updates to AP1 during this time either, AP1 is of course forgotten. (I've heard that the latest update actually changes the lane changes in AP1 but haven't tested it)

    So all in all, I think the older cars lack the hardware completely to receive any significant new features like AP updates, sentry mode, etc. But they do receive the interface updates to keep them "up to date", but those updates are developed with the newer MCUs (and, frankly, the Model 3) in mind and do nothing good for the old cars, just slows them down.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Love x 1
  13. mvotb

    mvotb Member

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    Exactly. Big difference between AP1 and others, in what was received vs what was taken away. This poll would come out very different if it was AP1 only. The problem for Tesla is they have shown their hand, in that they are only going to support 1 software, loyal customers be damed. Does anyone think that they won't keep changing the hardware? Then we will see what the PLUS people think when they get nothing but a dysfunctional UI.
     
    • Love x 1
  14. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Having purchased our first Tesla in Jan 2013 and trading it in in Jun 2018, we went through the process of getting feature improvements which slowed over time as the focus of updates shifted to hardware not present on our S P85. However, we still received updates - and saw improvements in areas like the user interface and navigation software - something we probably would not have seen if we'd purchased an ICE from another manufacturer.

    Tesla has completed AP1 software development - the hardware is incompatible with the AP system that replaced it in late 2016. The AP1 functionality is "feature complete", and any changes will likely be minor or bug fixes.

    We have a 2017 S with MCU1 and 2018 X with MCU2 - and the newer X is getting more updates and minor features that the older MCU1 vehicle can't support. While there's some disappointment (similar to what we went through in the later years for our S P85), we're still getting some software updates that do provide improvement for the 2017 - including continuing AP software updates.

    OTA updates for life is still valuable - as long as owners accept that their hardware has limitations and they shouldn't expect to see as many features added as their vehicle ages and Tesla continues to innovate with new hardware.
     
  15. trm2

    trm2 Member

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    Entomologists love them.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. Jashev

    Jashev Supporting Member

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    So you are aware of this stuff but you have bought three Tesla's. Seems to me that if I was so unhappy with that, I wouldn't be buying their cars. You have a choice. You are already an informed consumer, well aware of Tesla's business model, but you continue to purchase their cars.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  17. whitex

    whitex Well-Known Member

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    #17 whitex, Jun 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    Actually, bought 4 of them, but don't see myself buying any more*. Like many excited new owners today, I saw OTA as a positive at first. It took a few years to learn all the lessons about OTA I shared here.

    *Fine print, considering a used Model S next year for my teenage son, but only if I can pick it up for sub $30K. At that price, the Tesla benefits (EV, safety, I already have charging, I know how to fix a bunch of stuff on it) outweigh the drawbacks of OTA (yellowing screens, lack of any modern phone integration). New one, not even close. On the other hand, if the new P100D had the interior, modern tech features (surround view, phone integration from this century), well designed user experience (like tactile feedback and proper controls layout), service/parts/repair availability, and support model (rare updates, no forcing new features or UI's designed for a different car on users) of Audi etron, I'd be picking one up now. Alas, I am stuck waiting for Taycan Turismo, or something like it.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Love x 1
  18. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    Waiting for another company to have long-range electric cars and Superchargers.

    If Tesla hasn't fixed their broken customer communications and their broken software development by then, first company to have those two things gets my business.

    For some reason, it is taking an exceedingly long time and I don't see any company managing it for another five years.
     
    • Like x 2
  19. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    Generally positive. However, in 2.5 years of ownership I have become much more reluctant as opposed to eager to press the “install” button.

    I’m rarely in the leading wave of software updates as it is, and I expect that will continue to be the case as I’ve not bought into the FSD snake oil, and that’s more ok with me with every release.

    I’m anxious about any upcoming update that enables lane departure assist - until Tesla changes this feature so it can be disabled permanently, I won’t be updating. Based on current behavior described by Model 3 owners, this would be a hard no for me.
     

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