I finally found a chunk of time to sit down and watch Tesla’s 2014 annual shareholder meeting. The video was posted June 5th. While there’s interesting stuff throughout the video I wanted to just focus on the hardware and software features mentioned in the video. The features section is fairly short and starts at 13:07 into the video and runs through to 15:49 if you want to get Elon’s words directly.
Elon said that you’ll be able to personalize the car a lot more from small things like naming your car and seeing that name in the Tesla portal and app to more advanced personalized learning behavior. Not a lot of detail was provided around the personalized learning, but he did mention calendar integration and providing a heads up on traffic and commute times to upcoming scheduled appointments. This sounds sort of like what you get on iOS or Android when you look at your day view and hopefully it will include other things included there like watched stocks, weather, etc.
Traffic optimized directions, re-routing around traffic, alerts for upcoming traffic are all also coming. The intelligence for this is from both a collaborative network of other Model S cars on the road as well as external data sources (he said 20 million other data sources). Obviously, with only 40K cars sold and only 900 in the New England area a GPS system based on low numbers like that is not going to be very effective. The Model S network data will be given preference/priority over the other data sources, but it won’t be the only source and I sincerely hope some of those other data sources include Google traffic. He compared the collaborative network between the Model S’s to Waze. That implies some interaction possibilities like speed trap reporting, road closures, etc. The traffic re-routing will be a great addition but a more interactive environment between Model S’s really opens up some interesting possibilities for the future.
One flier that Elon threw out at the very end (~1h10min mark) is that he’s confident that is less than a year you’ll be able to go from highway onramp to highway offramp without touching any controls. Their dates aren’t very believable and its not clear if he’s just talking about the possibility of doing this (Google already can do this sort of thing) or if he meant this would be available in a Tesla product. Either way it will be an exciting (and probably scary) next step in the driving experience!
It should be no surprise to most that Tesla does not have model years but rolls in changes as they’re needed. Elon cited several cases of improvements made to the seats and undercarriage (Titanium). In addition he mentioned several new features that were introduced like power folding mirrors and parking sensors. The only real “hardware” upgrade he mentioned that is coming later this year is another seat option. It sounds like the current seats will remain standard and this new seat will be an upgrade option that can be retrofitted into existing Model S’s for a cost. I’d expect the new seats to be a significant upgrade, but i’m quite happy with the current ones I have and I spend about 2 hours a day in the driver seat.
There wasn’t a lot of really new news about features in this shareholder meeting but there were some good clarifications. The collaborative network part between Model S’s was the most exciting and something I hadn’t heard before — I had assumed they would just use Google traffic alone. The other items like upgraded seats and a more personalized experience are also interesting.
In terms of a delivery timeline, Elon said it was “Rolling out fairly soon” but given their poor history on date estimates it’s anyones guess what this means.