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Tesla Software Version 9 has finally arrived for Australian drivers

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Tesla’s Software Version 9.0 has finally arrived in Australia and with it a whole new  user interface plus a host of new features and capabilities for the Model S and Model X.

We updated our car yesterday after being among the first batch of Tesla drivers in the country to receive the update.

The new software update will begin rolling out to all Australian Tesla drivers in the coming days and weeks.

In the same way users run major operating system updates on their smartphones, it is a similar situation with a Tesla.

V9.0 is one of the biggest updates Tesla has ever produced for its vehicles.

The interface and the whole user experience has been completely redesigned.

And on top of that, there are numerous new features including dash cam, blind spot monitoring, full 360-degree view and enhance navigation routing.

NEW USER-INTERFACE

The first thing you’ll notice about Tesla V9.0 is the brand-new look of the interface on the central 17-inch screen.

The design and font are similar to those used with Tesla’s latest vehicle –  the Model 3 –  which will be released in Australia next year.

There is a new application launcher closer to the driver at the bottom of the screen which is an instant shortcut to the calendar, energy, rear view camera and the phone.

And if you want to access the last used app, you simply swipe up from the bottom.

The whole interface now looks a lot cleaner and uncluttered.

DASH CAM

If you’re a Tesla driver, forget about buying a dash cam –  you’ve already got one.

Tesla vehicles built after August 2017 with Hardware 2.5 will now be able to record and store video captured from the forward facing cameras at the top of the windscreen while the car is on.

To capture the footage, drivers need a USB flash drive inserted into a front row USB port and with a minimum of 1.8GB available memory.

When the car recognises the USB flash drive, the dash cam icon appears the top of the screen and you can start recording.

It is possible to capture a 10 minute video clip by tapping the new dash cam icon.

And you can also pause the recording by pressing and holding the icon.

BLINDSPOT WARNING

Other cars use an indicator in the side mirror to alert drivers if a car is in their blindspot while trying to change lanes.

Now with V9.0, the Tesla uses the side and rear facing cameras to detect vehicles around it and displays them on the driver’s screen.

If the driver indicates to change lane and another vehicle is detected in the blindspot, the lane line on the on-screen visualisation on that side of the car will turn red.

FULL 360-DEGREE VIEW

Tesla Software Version 9.0 has now activated all eight external cameras from the vehicles. Driving hardware.

This means drivers will have a complete view of what’s going on around their car and a visualisation of the vehicles on the driver’s display.

This visualisation is now more accurate than ever and can actually distinguish between sedans, trucks, semitrailers and also motorcycles and bicycles.

Now a Tesla driver can see not only the cars ahead of them but those in adjacent lanes and behind them.

TESLA MOBILE APP

The Tesla mobile app now has even more capabilities including being able to initiate a vehicle software update remotely without having to be in the car.

This is handy if you want to run a software update you know you’re going to be away from your car for a while so it is ready when you get back to your vehicle.

Directions can be sent from your phone to your Tesla

Another handy new feature is being able to send a destination from your phone to the Tesla.

You simply do this by hitting the share button on your mobile device and selecting the Tesla app icon.

….. and it then appears on car’s screen

Then when you get in the car, those directions will already be on the main screen’s map.

The app will also allow passengers to access the media controls from their smart phone. This can also be disabled  by the driver in the Media Settings menu.

ENHANCED NAVIGATION ROUTING

Turn by turn directions on the Tesla are now better than ever with even more information about upcoming returns and expressway exits.

For your journey the next step of your navigation will always be easy to see.

And if there is a transit lane (also known as HOV – high occupancy vehicle lanes)  for cars with two or more passengers, the vehicle will also take that into consideration for your next trip.

NAVIGATE ON AUTOPILOT

With the release of Tesla Software Version 9.0, there will also be additional features for Autopilot.

These will be sent in an over-the-air update in the coming months.

One of the biggest changes coming soon will be Navigate on Autopilot which, with the driver’s supervision, will be able to guide the car from a highway entrance to a highway turnoff including suggesting lane changes and navigating highway interchanges.

The new app launcher

OBSTACLE AWARE ACCELERATION

Another new feature will be able to detect if there is an obstacle in your path while driving at low speeds,  like when parking.

If something is detected, full acceleration is reduced to help prevent drivers from accidentally accelerating.

ATARI CLASSIC GAMES

There are already a few Easter eggs in the Tesla but now there are even more in the form of Atari classic games – Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Missile Command and Centipede.

Drivers can turn the centre screen into a gaming arcade and use the buttons on the steering wheel as their controller.

Atari classic games on the main Tesla display

All of the speakers of the car are used to provide the audio as well so it’s an impressive experience.

Of course, this will only work when you’re parked and handy to have if you’ve got some downtime or are waiting to pick someone up.