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Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Cosmacelf, Mar 17, 2015.
Anyone know if software updates are free for life, or whether or not you need a service contract?
Maybe we should look at existing implementation. Does first generation iPhone still getting the latest iOS update?
it would be funny in an era when even MS is following in Apple and Google's footsteps and making a free, perpetually updated OS
...and Tesla isn't.
I would not be surprised if Apple did not support their older phones with updates but Google updates are available for all their Nexus phones without restriction.
I guess it is a matter of whether Tesla is more like Apple or Google and I hope they are more like the latter.
Apple stops updating older phones when their tech can't support the newest OS. I wonder at what point that will happen to the classic Model S.
No, it doesn't. I'm sure the Model S will work the same way-- at some point, significant new updates will require new hardware. Bug fixes for older cars (which should get fewer as time goes on) should continue to be free and available.
There may be software updates that are free for the life of a Model S.
But there's no guarantee that new features will always be provided to all cars.
For example, the new speed limit monitoring ("speed assist") could be added to all cars - since it can be driven from the posted speed limits in the navigation database. Reading speed limit signs is not required. But, Tesla (at least so far) hasn't indicated they plan to bring that feature to all of their cars.
At some point, the cost of continuing to add features to older vehicles (that represent an increasingly smaller fraction of the vehicles on the road) will become unjustifiably high - and Tesla is more likely to do what other companies do with their older software - provide only critical bug fixes after a few years.
Technically, Apple stops updating older technology when they want to push you onto the newer technology and the push-back from those who bought the technology would be in balance with their marketing goals. The first-generation iPad, while slower than the latest, still works great for the kids. But that's a discussion for another day.
The new speed assist feature draws on data in the map database AND uses the new forward facing camera mounted in the rear view mirror to read any speed limit signs it sees to compare against the database info to make sure the driver is accurately advised of current posted speed limits and temporary limits in construction zones (for example). So in my opinion speed assist will not be added to cars made before late September 2014 because it would not be accurate enough.
So I got a reply from Tesla. Yes, updates are free for life, but there was some other interesting info:
"Thank you for contacting Tesla Motors Technical Support. We pride ourselves in being able to improve your vehicle as time goes by with our free over the air software updates. We will continue to provide these updates at no cost to our customer for the life of the car. The only change in this will be in the future after your 4 year free internet connectivity trial runs out, if you choose to opt out of internet service you may need to come into service to obtain these updates if a Wi-Fi connection is not available. This however will also incur no cost for the update."
Yeah, I'm kind of dreading that. Mobile internet is ridiculously expensive in Canada.
Hopefully it will be cheaper in 4 years.
In the US, prices for mobile data have dropped a lot in the past few years.
The data plan for the S could possibly be similar to that of an iPad rate, somewhere around $12 per month. At present even the earliest S owners are still covered so we have no procedure or figures to go on.
You can compare this to iOS devices, but comparing a tablet/smartphone that's a few hundred bucks and a life expectancy of a few years to a $100k car with a life expectancy of decades is iffy.
Tesla should recognize that they would alienate a large percentage of their customers if they stop supporting updates for the "original" Model S in, say, 5 years.
Yes, that's why Tesla said they would always support updates.
When Tesla starts charging for cellular connection, just use your mobile phone as a hot spot and tether the car's wifi to your phone. Problem solved using your existing data plan and no need to pay Tesla.
Again, small bandwidth caps and crazy expensive in Canada :scared:
In fact, when they announced the 4yr timeframe, they said it started Jan 1, 2014 or the date of delivery for your car, whichever is later. So the first ~25k cars will all see their data plan expire at the same time, presumably on Dec 31, 2017.
While I agree we pay through the nose up here, I find that the plan I'm on never gets close to being consumed. Tethering wouldn't be an issue for me, I don't think, and it would be nice to actually use what I've been paying for!
However, what happens when you're not in or close to the car? Will there always be a wifi hotspot in range of where you're charging? If you don't have a connection from the car to the web, you won't be able to check status remotely, unless I'm missing something about the technology in use.
Given that SpaceX is launching all sorts of things, maybe Tesla should get into the satellite business and create their own dedicated data network with uplinks from all their cars... I'm sure Elon could negotiate a sweet deal with the rocket group... :tongue:
I suggest that in jest, but imagine the possibilities... You'd still have data coverage in areas where cellular is weak or non-existent. You could provide sat-phone capabilities to the cars - a private Tesla communications network...