I always liked this time of the year. There is something magical about Christmas that no other holiday seems to provide. In the place where I was growing up the snow would be on the ground as soon as early December, so that was the first guarantee of a proper mood as the holidays were approaching. While parents were busy with last minute preparations for Christmas Eve dinner, us kids would be on a watch for a first star to appear on the sky, signaling that it is the time to sit at the dining table. There’s a lot more of great traditions related to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and I will probably write about it some other time. One that kids care about the most though are presents! Tesla has a nice surprise in that department as well.
The company has been very systematic with new software updates in the past few months, delivering on the promise of bi-weekly releases. While not every car will receive every release all the time, I can honestly say that I have been receiving at least every other update on average. My last update was 2017.46 and just before Christmas I have received a notification about 2017.50.2 (talking about perfect timing). I’ll cover the new improvements later, but the one that is simply cool to have during the holidays is the new Easter Egg (or should we call it a “Christmas” egg instead?) that turns your car into Santa’s sleigh and the cars on the road into reindeer.
Here’s a quick video I made that showcases how it works:
Definitely something that satisfies the inner child in me!
There’s also a “secret” not-so-funny Easter egg that Elon had hinted in his tweet:
Here’s the spoiler for those who didn’t get the clue:
As for the other features included in this update, there’s an additional fix related to Easy Entry. Quoting the release notes:
“We’ve improved Easy Entry so that now when you park, the steering wheel and the driver’s seat adjust for an easy exit after you unbuckle the driver’s seat belt.”
Neat. the other significant update is going to help those folks living in cold climates to preserve the battery range when plugged in. It requires both the latest version of the Tesla mobile app and the firmware version 2017.50.x (as there were a few revisions of this release). The app notes explain it quite well:
So if you leave your car plugged in the garage overnight (as you should) or in the parking lot at your workplace where you have a charging port (lucky!), you can get your car nice and toasty before leaving and also take care of the battery’s temperature at the same time. Double neat.
I haven’t had a chance to test if there were any other incremental improvements to Autopilot with this update, but if I notice anything I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, wishing you all a Merry Christmas! Spend some time with your family and friends and reflect on things that matter in life the most. Till next time!