Over the past few months, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking about a new vehicle software update called version 9, which is supposed to be the automaker’s biggest update in about 2 years.
Today we take our first look at Tesla’s version 9 software update with new UI, features, and more
Musk said that the update will go into Tesla’s early access program (beta testers) in August, but they have yet to push the new software.
In the meantime, we still get a look at the update thanks to Jason Hughes, a Tesla hacker and tinkerer known for several interesting finds hidden in Tesla’s software and hardware like Tesla Autopilot camera storing footage after a crash like a dashcam and his revealing Tesla battery pack teardowns.
He got his hands on an alpha dev build of Tesla’s version 9.0 software update and he has been leaking a few details.
We reached out to Hughes and he made it clear that it was an early version of the software that Tesla pushed to some dev cars last week and therefore, it could change by the time it is released to the fleet.
The main change from the early build is Tesla trying to harmonize the user interface of the Model S and Model X with the more recently developed UI of the Model 3. The move follows our report that Tesla is planning to do the same with the overall interior of the Model S and Model X with a refresh coming next year.
On Twitter, Hughes shared a few images of the early version 9 build running in a vehicle:
We can see the similar design as in the Model 3 with windows popping up inside the main window instead of having simply two windows with two different applications splitting the screen in two like in the current Model S and Model X software.
The menu is now strictly at the bottom and the navigation app serves as the main window/background.
The navigation system has also been updated with a new UI and it includes new features like waypoints.
Hughes also found a new feature called ‘Drive on Nav’ which is listed under the other Autopilot features in beta:
It’s not clear what the feature does at the moment since it wasn’t active nor was Hughes able to drive the vehicle, but it appears to have to do with Autopilot.
Musk has been talking about Tesla owners eventually being able to simply enter a destination in the navigation system and the vehicle will automatically drive there. It could be an early development version of the feature and not something that would necessarily be released in version 9.
Finally, the update also includes the promised classic Atari games that Musk said would be included as Easter eggs in the update:
As previously noted, this is a very early version of the software update and it looks like Tesla is behind on the development.
It could change in the coming weeks and there’s no new ETA on the release.
The harmonization with the Model 3 UI makes a lot of sense since that’s something Tesla mentioned about the Model S and Model X interior in the documents that we reported on in our exclusive look at the upcoming Tesla interior refresh.
Other than that, the update is underwhelming so far, but again, it is only an early version.
New features that were promised, like the dashcam feature, could still be added on in the coming weeks.
We will keep a close eye on the development and we will report back when we have more information.