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If the software is upgraded remotely, why are people on different versions?

If the software is upgraded remotely, why are people on different versions?

Awaiting delivery at the end of September. I presume I'll have the latest version.

Everything else I have that upgrades remotely (Android, Apple, PS3) seems to keep everyone pretty much up to date within a few days or weeks of each other.

In reading these pages, it seems that not every owner has the latest update. Curious as to why.

cloroxbb | September 1, 2013

You can decline to update it.

dramingly | September 1, 2013

Why would you decline?

cloroxbb | September 1, 2013

To keep certain "features" maybe? or to avoid the unfound bugs, that will come to light once the majority updates their firmware?

I know some people declined to update, to keep the "sleep mode" from an earlier version.

nickjhowe | September 1, 2013

The more significant reason is that Tesla does not make particular software versions available to all owners. In fact new software versions are only available to very limited numbers of owners.

The underlying reason behind this is not known - other than the historically buggy nature of new software releases (there were six different versions of 4.5, and already three versions of 5.0

dramingly | September 1, 2013

Thanks, nickjhowe

KendallPB | September 2, 2013

They roll it out slowly. Theories include (a) more chances to see what shows up "in the wild" outside their own testing and beta testing, (b) cost (they're paying for the wifi right now), and probably others. Roll-out may pick up, once 5.0 is out and folks can update via wifi; Tesla's said that folks who update via wifi will be somewhat prioritized.

I didn't know there were three versions of 5.0 already. Hopefully they'll get it ironed out soon. Maybe they need a larger beta program. ;-)

derek | October 20, 2013

Oct 20, and I'm still on 4.5. Are there many like me?

ir | October 20, 2013

I'm still on 4.5 as well.

David70 | October 20, 2013

Still 4.5. I suspect that if you didn't have 5.0 when you got your car you've had no recent upgrades.

derek | October 21, 2013

Tesla sucks about this. They should have clear policy on versioning, and publish it. The policy should explain how they roll-out updates, over what time frame, and how to opt-in to a beta program.

Also, they should offer a version and feature roadmap, and publish it. This would list top feature priorities, expected fixes, and what is expected in each future version. No hard dates would even be needed (although it would be nice) since we simply understand that the versions are sequential.

That would solve a lot of "agita" among their owners. Leaving people guessing just wastes our time and energy.

AmpedRealtor | October 21, 2013

@ derek,

  • They should have clear policy on versioning, and publish it. The policy should explain how they roll-out updates, over what time frame, and how to opt-in to a beta program.
  • What other auto maker does this?

  • They should have clear policy on versioning, and publish it. The policy should explain how they roll-out updates, over what time frame, and how to opt-in to a beta program.
  • What technology company publishes a roadmap to future products? That is typically a confidential, internal document. Again, I know of no other car company that does this.

    Olof | October 21, 2013

    @Amped Realtor
    +1

    Last time I was at the service center and asked if I could try 5.0. (on 4.5 now).
    They told me it wasn't possible because 5.0 wasn't yet developed for any cars other than those leaving for the factory now, for example didn't include the old door handles that I have.

    bp | October 22, 2013

    Tesla's software practices cannot be compared to other auto manufacturers. Tesla has committed to provide software updates, and has not yet provided all of the functionality they had promised before the first car was built.

    The ability to provide upgrades (software and hardware) to the Model S is a significant benefit in purchasing a Model S - and Tesla should be implementing business practices to better support both software and hardware upgrades.

    As an early stage company trying to get their first full-scale production cars on the market, it's understandable Tesla limited some of the expected hardware and software features - so they could stay on schedule to get the first cars on the market.

    Now that they've successfully launched the Model S - and have expanded sales outside of the US - it's time for them to evolve their business practices and better support both software and hardware upgrades.

    Just as Tesla has been able to design and manufacture a market leading car - it should not be difficult for them to do the same in establishing market-leading practices for providing hardware and software updates to their growing customer base.

    Brian H | October 22, 2013

    De facto debugging is the problem. No beta testing yet devised has prevented market discovery of new glitches. Partial release is a compromise solution.

    bp | October 23, 2013

    There are some simple things that Tesla could do to improve this process.

    For example, if each software release provided the ability to rollback either to what was installed previously or at least back to the last "stable" release - there would be considerably less risk with installing software updates - and they could allow their entire owner base to have the option of "opting in" for installation of new software releases.

    Especially if they picked the previous stable release for the rollback - that's something they could easily test each time before distributing releases.

    It would be unfortunate if Tesla isn't able to get their software process under better control - and they even further slow down their release process...