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Ways that Tesla could improve the software update process


Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
Terre Haute, IN USA
First of all, I want to say that Tesla has already made some nice improvements to the software update process. Adding the "software" tab in your settings that tells you when a new software version is available and gives you a progress bar, is very good. At least now, we know when an update is downloading instead of just connecting to wifi and hoping. And the choice between between "standard" and "advanced" is a nice concept although at this point, I think the jury is still out on exactly what it does. But certainly, giving owners a choice of how they get updates is a good idea in principle. So Tesla has made some nice improvements recently.

However, I think there is still room for further improvements. Here are my ideas for how Tesla could improve even more the software update process:

1) More detailed release notes.
Right now, the release notes will detail brand new "big" features but they don't give any detail on the minor fixes or on any "under the hood" improvements. For example, we know that sometimes Tesla sneaks in a better neural net to improve Autopilot. If a new update does have a better NN that improves AP, it would be great for owners to know that instead of having to experiment or guess from driving. Knowing if AP's behavior has changed would only make owners safer on the road. And knowing about minor bug fixes would be useful to know as well. Maybe it's a bug that we encountered. It would be nice to know that it is fixed.

2) Communicate more on social media about software updates
Right now, the roll out process for software updates seems rather obtuse. We simply watch teslafi to see update version numbers popping up. We don't know what the updates contain unless someone leaks the release notes. We don't know what the roll out strategy or plan is. Some updates are small roll outs, some are wide.

Tesla has a big presence on Twitter. It would be easy for Tesla to tweet about what software updates are rolling out. For example, they could have tweeted that 2019.20 contains enhanced summon but is only going out to early access and tweeted later that 2019.20.1 does not contain enhanced summon but does contain improved dog more and other bug fixes and it is rolling out wide to California and Europe. That way, there would be no guessing games. Owners would know what to expect from updates. There would be less confusion about why I am not getting this update or does this update contain this feature or not.

My two ideas for making the software update more transparent for Tesla owners.


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