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Tesla's Software To-Do List

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by BertL, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. BertL

    BertL Active Member

    Aug 19, 2015
    Carlsbad, CA
    #1 BertL, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
    This thread has been created as an adjunct to the primary discussion started by brooklynrab in Tesla Priorities: Refine Autopilot or Fix Everything Else? Please keep that discussion there.

    This thread hopefully becomes a Tesla To-Do List focused on:

    1. A repository of officially reported MS failures requiring a future software update for resolution (e.g. documented on a Tesla Service Invoice or acknowledged via [email protected])
    2. A list of “basic capabilities” either missing, incomplete, or inferior in MS when compared to other competitive luxury vehicles available today. Many of these features are simply things today’s and prospective owners expect a Tesla should include — some of which would be used many times every day if provided. All capabilities are believed to be functions which could be implemented via OTA software updates to the entire fleet (MS, MX and perhaps future M3) without any new hardware or other model-specific requirements.

    What this is NOT intended to include:

    • Discussion that should be in the parent Tesla Priorities: Refine Autopilot or Fix Everything Else? thread
    • Anything requiring new or redesigned hardware
    • Another thread discussing AutoPilot and other future functions, requirements, flaws, etc. — there are plenty of others for that
    • Navigation mapping database errors (missing roads, wrong speed limits, etc.) or non-pervasive specific routing failures
    • Individual dissatisfaction with User Interface (UI) design
    • Software problems reported via a “Bug Report” or Service Center exchange that is not known to be officially recognized within Tesla as requiring resolution
    • A Wish List for missing functions or capabilities unless more than one competitive automobile manufacturer already provides it to their fleet. This is not intended to replace the discussion in Model S Software/Firmware wishlist or the recent voting effort Korben & supratachophobia helped coordinate for the community.

    Process Used:

    1. I listed software defects which I know have been reported to Tesla, awaiting a future software update. It’s a short list because it’s only mine to kick this off. Please add others you know about including reference to any thread where it has been discussed here on TMC.
    2. I read through a number of recent Lexus (Navigation), Mercedes-Benz (COMAND), and BMW (iDrive) manuals noting features which our present MS running firmware level 7.1 2.9.154 does not provide. I focused primarily on a broad definition of Infotainment capabilities, and only included similar features in “the missing basics” list below, that are provided by at least two other manufacturers. If it’s a one-off feature, I didn’t inspect MS capabilities for it.
      I have likely missed things or made mistakes, as differences vary widely by model and model year. I am fairly confident I have captured most of the bigger ticket items — including some that I don’t personally care if my MS had or not. I’ve not spent a lot of time to fully describe each and every requirement, as I believe most are fairly self-descriptive to anyone that has used other more recent Infotainment systems. Please feel free to add, take issue, comment, or ask questions — just please try to remember what this thread is NOT intended to be. Where this goes from here, I don’t know, but we’ll see how it evolves.


    90kWh Battery: Rated Range showed rapid decline after delivery and at times varies suddenly in what is displayed
    Reported to Service Center & documented on Invoice: Reviewed vehicles CAC from the build date of the vehicle. We have confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the battery pack itself. This variation is primarily due to firmware. This is normal characteristics of the vehicle and no further action is required at this time. Future firmware updates will help rectify this concern as the algorithm used becomes more accurate.

    TMC discussion threads: 90D Range Slowly Declining

    Audio System - USB Media: Intermittently skips tracks & plays when MS is off; or “Unable to Play” upon reentry to vehicle
    Reported to Service Center & documented on Invoice: This is a known issue. There is nothing that can be done proactively for customer experiencing this issue at this time. A future firmware update is planned to mitigate this problem.



    On/Off Button — add the ability to turn it off and keep it off with a single touch


    • Display track title (like today), with album name & artist when specified
      • Support MP3 ID3 and WMA/AAC Tags
    • Display cover art if provided, otherwise use Gracenotes

    NOTE: Sadly, FLAC support and M3U Playlists are not consistently provided by other mfgrs, nor is say displaying cover art with XM sources, therefore IMO these are not a “basic capability” within this exercise. They perhaps remain on the “wish lists” of others like mine.


    17” Display

    • Display installed map database version — just as MS firmware level can be
    • Add a Scale Indicator to the Map display
    • Maintain map orientation (north or vehicle direction is up) through all Nav interactions unless specifically modified by the driver

    Destination (Places)

    • Create a method to send a destination from the Tesla App and/or My Tesla or WWW (like Google Maps) to MS
    • Allow Recent & Favorite Destination sorting
      • Last used date (like today)
      • Distance from location

    Personal Points of Interest (POI) — competitively, each one has a name, location, and icon selectable from a pick list; these can then be optionally displayed on the Map. With Tesla’s existing Nav / Places / Favorites, if a user-selectable icon could be added to each one, similar functionality would all be there except to then have those icons display as an overlay on the map.

    • Preferences
      • Display on map - On/Off

    Route Types

    • Provide a minimum of 3 route type alternatives (NOTE: A destination with waypoints has only a single route type)
      • Quick - based on time
      • Shortest - based on distance
      • Eco (perhaps based on least impact to range or kWh projection — Tesla can really decide as every other manufacturer provides at least a 3rd option, but they are all different as to what they are)
    • Preferences
      • Select a default route type to always use OR display a pop-up with alternatives after each new waypoint or destination is input
      • Route Preferences (it is understood these may not always be possible depending on route)
        • Toll Road - Include/Exclude
        • Freeway/Highway - Include/Exclude
        • Ferry - Include/Exclude

    Areas to Avoid

    • Touch center of area to avoid on map; expand a graphical square around the area; input a name and save
    • Minimum 10 areas
    • Provide mechanism to Add, Edit & Delete

    Traffic Incidents (where available)

    • Ability to visually list current Traffic Incidents
      • on Current Road
      • on Current Route
    • Ability to press to hear current traffic information on-demand (text received is read back)
    • Preferences
      • New traffic incident voice warning (text received is read back) - On/Off
      • Provide a confirmation pop-up before rerouting based on existing time improvement (display and timeout if no selection) - On/Off


    • Add to route
    • Edit route
      • Show waypoint & destination list
        • Show interim arrival time at each way point
      • Allow delete & reorder (NOTE there does not have to be an edit of a single waypoint per se — you instead could add the new one, put it in the right sequence, then delete the old one)
      • Allow route type change on the same pop-up (for entire trip)

    Compass — user-selectable 17” App or perhaps better yet on a MS is to provide an optional left/right IC app with various information (in addition to what MS already provides)

    • Direction
    • Altitude
    • Latitude & Longitude


    • Nav announcements during phone call - On/Off


    Bluetooth Setup

    • Add the ability to change the default “Tesla Model S” name used with phone pairing (especially helps owners with multiple MS)

    Phone Messaging (via Bluetooth) — Implementations vary, but MS has nothing built-in to assist with a hands-free experience. Some manufacturers address this via Siri Eyes Free, Carplay, Android Auto, or unique home-grown solutions.

    • Email, SMS & MMS
      • Full function receipt
      • Quick reply (with the ability to set & edit custom replies in a pick list)
      • Ability to phone sender or phone a number within the message
    • Preferences
      • Display via Pop-up upon arrival - On/Off
      • Audible receipt (text received is read back) - On/Off

    Voice Commands — expand from the basic 4 available in MS today; Lexus has a couple dozen commands, MBZ has a very long list covering most of the vehicle systems if optional COMAND is installed

    • Depending on Tesla’s implementation, consider a voice training ability to improve recognition; tie to MS Profile, not the vehicle
    • Navigation — e.g. “Pause Guidance”, “Resume Guidance”
    • Phone — e.g. “Redial”
    • Radio — e.g. “Tune to AM ___”, “Tune to FM ___”, “Tune to FM ___ HD _”, “Tune to XM Channel ___”
    • Audio — e.g. “Music On”, “Music Off”, “USB”, “Bluetooth Audio”
    • Climate — e.g. “Climate Control On”, “Climate Control Off”, “__ Degrees”

    Internet Browser — MS requires basic updates for increased website compatibility — I’ll let someone else, or better yet, Tesla Engineering, define all the detail ;)

    CarPlay, Android Auto, and Siri Eyes Free — Elon recently mentioned this in Hong Kong. In any case, providing easier access to a broad set of smartphone capabilities within MS needs to be addressed so Tesla does not get too far behind. Each auto manufacturer is doing something, but it’s all over the map.

    Tie each FOB to a user-specified MS Profile — again, lots of different auto manufacturer variability, but the big players are all doing something. With Tesla’s Profiles, they already have a good start on what needs to be done.
    • Like x 3
  2. Pinarello

    Pinarello Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Chicago Suburbs, IL
    The radio should remember the volume level for each input. The volume level for my Bluetooth phone should be remembered and separate from the volume level for the radio, Tune-in, etc. For whatever reason, I need to turn my phone volume to max and the Tesla volume to 9 to properly hear podcasts on my phone, but when I switch to FM radio and forget to adjust the volume, I get instant hearing damage because 9 for FM radio is VERY LOUD! You could also remember the volume levels by driver profile which my ICE vehicle does.

    CLLACAB Member

    Dec 11, 2014
    Las Vegas, NV
    Timely posting. I was just thinking about something my Volt has that is very convenient. Both in my Tesla and the Volt, I have the car programmed to charge at night. However, in the Volt, if I want to charge immediately, all I have to do is plug it in, unplug it, and plug in again with 5 seconds. And charging begins immediately. I use this function often on weekends.
  4. cman8

    cman8 Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    United States
    I would love a way to preheat steering wheel and seats if you have the cold weather package.
    • Like x 1
  5. CTShore

    CTShore Member

    Jul 9, 2015
    Westbrook, CT
    Drive Away Door Lock: Please give us back the option to NOT have this on. Removed with 7.1. Doors are always now locked once the car goes above 5 MPH.
  6. BertL

    BertL Active Member

    Aug 19, 2015
    Carlsbad, CA
    Please provide at least two other manufacturers that have the options you believe are missing from MS. Otherwise, honestly, this thread is of little value attempting to create ONLY a listing of major functions missing in MS -- that are not one-offs and DO exist in other competive vehicles.

    Please see the top of the first post for more appropriate threads with "wish list" desires. Thanks!
  7. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Can't you just tap "Start Charging" on the phone app instead of having to go into the garage and unplug and replug in? That's what I do. Seems simpler.

  8. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2010
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Bluetooth: Contact photos: Why have a placeholder if your system wont accept the photo?

    Media: Playlists. Put the source select back on (Removed in 7.1) Ugggghhh... this is driving me nuts.
  9. Yodeller

    Yodeller Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    Cupertino, CA
    The Model S comes with 2 navigation systems, one is the Google Maps Nav on the 17 inch display, which relies on cellphone signal to work, and the second is an independent built-in SatNav that displays on the dashboard display itself behind the left hand side of the steering wheel. Unfortunately, if you are completely out of cellphone signal range and can't enter anything into google maps, you also have no way of inputting directions into the sat Nav system that doesn't rely on cellphone signal. That's a problem that shouldn't exist.
  10. BertL

    BertL Active Member

    Aug 19, 2015
    Carlsbad, CA
    Double check yourself. A recent addition was made (general release before the last drop -- IIRC 7.0?) without a lot of fanfare, and you may have missed it in the myriad of Autopilot and anti-UI posts here on TMC, but if you tap the area on the Nav panel where you normally enter an address, at the bottom, you'll see a new "Offline Address Entry" set of words. Tap it, and you get a pop-up allowing you to enter whatever manual address you want, so you can get to your destination without any internet connectivity. Enjoy! ;)
  11. Yodeller

    Yodeller Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    Cupertino, CA
    Thank you. I haven't been outside a coverage area and therefore haven't noticed. Nice to know when heading up to Saratoga, Big Basin and beyond..
  12. rneugebauer

    rneugebauer Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    Mercedes E-Class has a feature (for the station wagon, or T model) where you can open the trunk by kicking your foot sort of underneath the car (Keyless option required, and you have to have the key on you). Very handy when you have both hands full.

    I believe it uses the camera to detect the gesture. I don't see why this shouldn't be equally useful on the Model S, seems easy to implement.
  13. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

    Jul 28, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    It's still not complete. For example, there's no way to select an address by clicking on the map.
  14. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

    Apr 5, 2012
    What would be simpler would be for Tesla to establish a goal to provide competitive (if not superior) software on their cars, compared to other comparably priced vehicles.

    Tesla seems to be content to deliver either "beta quality" or "basic, but limited" functionality in most cases - and hasn't demonstrated any interest in continuing to invest development effort once the first version of a new app/features has been released.

    Surely Tesla can do the research on what is present in other vehicles that are likely alternatives for potential Tesla customers - and take steps to have more competitive software... And with the Bolt coming out later this year, with what appears to be better software in several areas (such as playlists, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto), it's got to be obvious to Tesla's management that they need to do better on their software.

    While the Nav software has some nice features - in multiple areas, it is behind what I had in my last car - that was built 10 years ago.

    We've been asking Tesla to add the missing features - for several years now.

    Maybe this time they'll listen...
  15. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Ford has had this for several years. It uses a two sensor system to recognize the foot. Look like Mercedes has copied it.

  16. Soolim

    Soolim Member

    Jun 11, 2015
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Tesla's product feature goal is to be on the NEWS. A me too does not achieve that even if the the feature is what the current owners like to have. So many examples....
  17. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

    Jun 6, 2013

    Thank you for putting this list together. I hope it goes somewhere. Over the last few years, I have seen numerous thread that just turn into b*tch sessions and never provide a comprehensive list of recommended fixes/features.

    First, I have one feature that I would like to have added: on every car that I have had with a motorized lift gate (GMC Acadia and Town & Country for examples), when the button is pushed, it beeps first, THEN lowers. With the MS, it beeps and lowers instantly/simultaneously, giving no warning. I have had 2 people get whacked on their heads because of this. Seems like an easy software fix. I wrote to TM about this over a year ago and got no response.

    As far as your nav list goes:
    1. Scale: Big +1 to this one. Every other nav system I have used has this, including my TomTom from 1996. I am not sure why it is missing from ours.
    2. Waypoints: Much needed in a vehicle dependent on charging options for obvious reasons. Here is a perfect example: I was returning from a long trip from Mammoth and had to drop off my friend at his home first. I could only navigate to his home, and not back to my home after. I would have no idea how much range I needed to get home, had I not gone to first.
    3. Choice of routes. Again, almost every other nav system I have used has this. Not with the energy efficiency choice obviously. Neat idea!
    4. Avoid Toll Roads, etc. Again, present on other navs since the 90's
    5. I love your idea of a Compass, particularly with altitude. Very cool.

    As far as Audio Off goes, it seems like there is no on/off feature for any of the main systems on this car, and I do not see TM doing this now. I will just accept the mute button on the steering wheel that I use often, or the one on the 17" screen that my passengers currently use.
  18. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    I don't know how or where you can draw this line. For example, is wanting to be warm in the winter a wish list feature? How about having the trip meter actually report correctly? See my post on the large list of deficiencies in cold weather software behavior:

    Winter Driving - Page 2
  19. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    Navigation search box should also be able to search address book and calendar entries. For instance, if I have Daniella in my address book and I want to navigate to her house, currently I must first go to her address book entry and touch the address to navigate. But if I enter "Daniella" into the navigation search box, it only searches for "Daniella" in the map database, which doesn't make sense to me. Navigation search should also be linked to address book and calendar. I don't know if other cars do this, but my Mac does and it seems like the car should be able to do this, too.

    BertL, once you get everyone's feedback, I would encourage you to send this to Tesla as a letter and with the signatures of multiple owners signed on to this letter. I would like to think that this list is actually going to go to someone at Tesla in a position to change the direction of their priorities.
    • Like x 1
  20. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

    Apr 25, 2011
    Ithaca, NY, USA

    Gapless playback. It should be possible to go from one track to the next in a folder without "skipping". This is essential for playing everything from audio dramas to operas.

    *Every* CD player provides this (it's part of the Red Book standard). Tesla needs to provide it too.

    Reported in 2013. No action by Tesla.
    • Like x 1

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