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Under-appreciated aspect of Tesla vs other cars

dhu1

Member
Mar 9, 2017
816
610
Berkeley
The one that always fascinates me about this car is the ability to constantly improve itself via the OTA updates.

As frustrating as it is to have all the bugs, the reality is the car is constantly getting better. Even my model X which I have owned for a bit now is constantly getting better in my user experience. I certainly can't say that to be the case when I owned my BMW or other ICE. Now with the 3, whatever the state of the car you get on delivery, the experience will only get better.

Just my 2 cents.
 

suwaneedad

Member
Dec 11, 2016
921
1,158
Atlanta
Indeed, had this very conversation with a former S owner (now 3 owner) earlier this week. He said the S that he sold recently was a better S than the one he bought, due to the various OTA updates during his 2yr ownership period. He was genuinely in awe. My only (long-dated) concern is that OTA updates happen for eight years, and I generally own vehicles for 12-18 years. But I guess the 2026 OTA-improved version of my 2018 Model 3 will be just fine...can carry me to 2035 or so!
 

Barklikeadog

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
1,887
1,909
PA
I've never had a vehicle that needed constant improvement from the factory, so I'm not sure how OTA would have helped any of them.

I gotta go with this guy. If you consider this feature to be great, but it also comes with the bad attached... yuck.
I'd rather have the 'good' without the bad.

I always read about owners who restart their computer, or restart several times, or pull over and restart... Is this
actually a common thing to deal with?
 

boaterva

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,594
3,835
Northern Virginia, USA
Indeed, had this very conversation with a former S owner (now 3 owner) earlier this week. He said the S that he sold recently was a better S than the one he bought, due to the various OTA updates during his 2yr ownership period. He was genuinely in awe. My only (long-dated) concern is that OTA updates happen for eight years, and I generally own vehicles for 12-18 years. But I guess the 2026 OTA-improved version of my 2018 Model 3 will be just fine...can carry me to 2035 or so!
Does this mean you think OTA updates will stop? They keep talking about some limit on the data feed, but it's not happened and I doubt it ever will. Tesla wants the data from the car, and I bet they want the cars to be as current as possible to increase resale value (so you want to purchase a new one!).
 

RDaneel

Member
Apr 3, 2016
162
176
New Jersey
I agree, this is one of the most appreciated aspects of driving a Tesla. I'm amazed at just how much they are able to control with software.

Well you sure as heck can't control much on the Model 3 with hardware! ;-)

I totally agree. I love that the car is becoming a software-driven appliance. Remember the original iPhone? The one that could text and call and do limited internet browsing? Neat, but still pretty much a phone. Once Apple added apps and the App Store, the phone became a star chart, GPS, weather station, fitness tracker, dating tool, etc., etc., etc. Software has the power to transform transportation - we just need to write it, the hardware largely exists.
 

Krugerrand

Enough of the 🐩, back to 🐈‍⬛
Jul 13, 2012
11,873
71,375
Tesla friendly place
I've never had a vehicle that needed constant improvement from the factory, so I'm not sure how OTA would have helped any of them.

So getting better fuel efficiency wouldn't have been an improvement? Increased engine performance, not an improvement? Additional features wouldn't have been an improvement? Less polluting wouldn't have been an improvement?

It's like you're saying the improvements of ICEs over the years weren't in fact improvements. You should have informed all the OEMs that the 1970 Gremlin was perfect and they need not make anything else after that. :rolleyes:
 

LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,176
Houston
So getting better fuel efficiency wouldn't have been an improvement? Increased engine performance, not an improvement? Additional features wouldn't have been an improvement? Less polluting wouldn't have been an improvement?

It's like you're saying the improvements of ICEs over the years weren't in fact improvements. You should have informed all the OEMs that the 1970 Gremlin was perfect and they need not make anything else after that. :rolleyes:

I'm saying that every other vehicle I've bought was delivered exactly as advertised, I've never had to pay for something with the promise that it would be updated at a later point. Ford did offer a power upgrade on their trucks a few years ago and yes it had to go into the dealer, but nothing was wrong with the truck and I had already got everything I was promised. Of course cars are better now than the 1970 Gremlin but when you bought the Gremlin you got the car you paid for. Saying that OTA is the best thing ever because Tesla might give us something that we didn't sign up for is wishful thinking at best. Again my other cars and trucks have all the features from the factory that I was told they would have, I don't buy vehicles based on empty promises like FSD or updates to something that should have worked from the factory, or hope that I'll get some unannounced performance upgrade that I didn't but the vehicle for. If you want to pay for it then fine, but I see no benefit in it. I was fine with the way the car was delivered to me, in fact AP has gotten worse with the last few updates.
 

suwaneedad

Member
Dec 11, 2016
921
1,158
Atlanta
Does this mean you think OTA updates will stop? They keep talking about some limit on the data feed, but it's not happened and I doubt it ever will. Tesla wants the data from the car, and I bet they want the cars to be as current as possible to increase resale value (so you want to purchase a new one!).
Cars sold to date have included 8 years of OTA updates. So yes, I expect that in 2020, the 2012 S's will stop receiving updates, and so on. Tesla can't be expected to keep updating the cars indefinitely...impossible as hardware evolution renders the old stuff obsolete. I bet they're already rolling their eyes with challenges keeping 2012s updated at this point.
 

ImEric

Member
Aug 26, 2015
107
143
Los Angeles, CA
I'm saying that every other vehicle I've bought was delivered exactly as advertised, I've never had to pay for something with the promise that it would be updated at a later point. Ford did offer a power upgrade on their trucks a few years ago and yes it had to go into the dealer, but nothing was wrong with the truck and I had already got everything I was promised. Of course cars are better now than the 1970 Gremlin but when you bought the Gremlin you got the car you paid for. Saying that OTA is the best thing ever because Tesla might give us something that we didn't sign up for is wishful thinking at best. Again my other cars and trucks have all the features from the factory that I was told they would have, I don't buy vehicles based on empty promises like FSD or updates to something that should have worked from the factory, or hope that I'll get some unannounced performance upgrade that I didn't but the vehicle for. If you want to pay for it then fine, but I see no benefit in it. I was fine with the way the car was delivered to me, in fact AP has gotten worse with the last few updates.

But what about things that weren't promised (or even considered) but were just good ideas? Creep is a great example of that. The early 2012/2013 Models didn't have it, but it was requested by customers and now it's on all of their post-roadster cars. Valet Mode is another great example. Nobody with a 3 was promised auto-dimming headlights, but it's coming. I know a lot of people felt that it was an oversight and it should've already been there, but I've never had a car new enough to have auto-dimming headlights, so I didn't even know that was something that existed until it was promised for my Model 3 yesterday. It's not necessarily about doing something that wasn't on the car at the factory that should've been, it's also [more so] about allowing the car to evolve with the driver and with the times. The new driver entry method on the Model 3 was not planned before people asked the company to change it. And there it is. I'd like the ability to use all of the cameras as a massive dash cam system. I don't know if that's going to happen, but it's something that they could work out if they feel so inclined, and there's a thousand other items that I can't even imagine yet that could make my 2018 Model 3 a better car in 2020 than it is today.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,898
17,226
New Mexico
I view OTA as something of a double edged consumer facing sword since it does in fact let Tesla start to sell a car that is not 'finished,' in the way a non OTA car would be. On the other hand, we all get a car to use earlier than it would be otherwise, and then software upgrades/repairs in the future. As software becomes an ever greater part of cars, OTA updates become that much more important.

The updates fit in well with Tesla's approach to continuous improvement.
 

LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,176
Houston
But what about things that weren't promised (or even considered) but were just good ideas? Creep is a great example of that. The early 2012/2013 Models didn't have it, but it was requested by customers and now it's on all of their post-roadster cars. Valet Mode is another great example. Nobody with a 3 was promised auto-dimming headlights, but it's coming. I know a lot of people felt that it was an oversight and it should've already been there, but I've never had a car new enough to have auto-dimming headlights, so I didn't even know that was something that existed until it was promised for my Model 3 yesterday. It's not necessarily about doing something that wasn't on the car at the factory that should've been, it's also [more so] about allowing the car to evolve with the driver and with the times. The new driver entry method on the Model 3 was not planned before people asked the company to change it. And there it is. I'd like the ability to use all of the cameras as a massive dash cam system. I don't know if that's going to happen, but it's something that they could work out if they feel so inclined, and there's a thousand other items that I can't even imagine yet that could make my 2018 Model 3 a better car in 2020 than it is today.
And all of those things are possible with every other manufacturer. And it's actually better the way manufacturers do it now requiring you to come in. Customers of other manufacturers also get to choose if they want the updates or not instead of it being forced upon them. My AP worked fine on every road on my commute, including all the backroads. With the last couple updates it gets confused and looses the lines, swerves into oncoming traffic, phantom brakes for absolutely nothing. There was nothing wrong with AP before and if I had the choice I wouldn't have updated because there was no need to update, but because Tesla felt the need to give me tire pressure readings in BAR and whatever else and AP malfunctioning came along with it.

Ford released an update for the 6.0 that helped motor efficiency but killed FICMs as a result. Once the problem was discovered they released a new update but not after frying a couple of FICMs. Had Ford done an OTA update every single 6.0 would have a fried FICM, instead they caught the problem and fixed it. Those who didn't want the upgrade because they had no complaints about stiction or efficiency didn't have to worry about it and never had to worry about fryin FICMs.

I don't want to be a beta tester for all of Teslas updates I want what I bought and if I feel it needs improvement then I'll get it updated.
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,430
19,332
North Bay, CA
I always read about owners who restart their computer, or restart several times, or pull over and restart... Is this
actually a common thing to deal with?
No. Last year I was having lunch with @cpa, who has had a Model S about as long as I have, and he was telling me he couldn't ever remember the way to restart the MCU because he has only done it a couple of times. I've done it a few times, you don't have to pull over to do so. HVAC will stop, music will stop, but that's about it.
 
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Reactions: novox77

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
6,077
LA
So getting better fuel efficiency wouldn't have been an improvement? Increased engine performance, not an improvement? Additional features wouldn't have been an improvement? Less polluting wouldn't have been an improvement?

It's like you're saying the improvements of ICEs over the years weren't in fact improvements. You should have informed all the OEMs that the 1970 Gremlin was perfect and they need not make anything else after that. :rolleyes:

Yeah, I wanted some Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's and more camber, with just a tad of toe-out on my car. I'm stunned the automaker could not make those changes via wifi. But at least they didn't limit the number of times I could visit the track like some brands did OTA.

BTW - When is the advertised 762HP OTA update coming to the early P85DL cars? Tesla Loses Its Freaking Mind, Introduces 762-hp Model S, Ludicrous Mode, New Base Model
 
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Yes OTA updates are cool, but remember what they eventually do to a smartphone: At first the updates make it better, then after a few years they start making it worse.

But it is very important to have OTA updates when you're selling a car that isn't done being programmed.

And there's a creepy big brother aspect to all this communication between your car and its manufacturer. It's covered in cameras but the owner doesn't have access to their footage unless telsa grants it to you. It tells tesla where you go and when. Now there's even a driver facing camera that you don't get to control. That's a lot of powerful personal info. I hate the mindless acceptance of the surveillance state we're all being forced into. I hate that the car I want the most is the car that surveils me the most with the least control over my privacy.
 
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Tesla uses OTA as a crutch, allowing them to ship cars that aren’t finished and are fulll of bugs only to be finished later. The ability to do OTA updates cuts both ways. I think with Model 3 they are taking a bit too much liberty with “ship now, fix later.”

No ability to use heated seats that are clearly advertised and paid for? Come on...
 

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