Tesla’s software update might save the lives of pets left in the car

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A 17 inch touchscreen is featured in the Model S electric sports sports sedan

Image: The Christian Science Monitor/Ann Hermes/AP

A few weeks after Elon Musk revealed the updates coming to the brand’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving feature, Tesla officially detailed the software 8.0 update Thursday morning.

Along with Autopilot changes, Tesla has reworked the media player, voice commands, and maps and navigation. It also added a trip planner as well as a ‘cabin overheat protection’ feature.

In total, the software 8.0 update represents “the biggest UI revamp since the launch of Model S,” according to Tesla.

The latter is perhaps the most intriguing. Here’s how Tesla describes its function: “[cabin overheat protection] keeps the car at a safe temperature for hours, even when the car is off.”

The upstart electric vehicle maker points out that the system is an ‘industry first’ and designed for the safety of both children and pets (presumably, those accidentally left in a Tesla).

The company press release didn’t specify how the system keeps the cabin cool. It simply stipulated it’s only possible due to Tesla’s “uniquely large battery packs.” It likely keeps energy flowing to the climate control system even after the car is off.

Certainly, this will drain the battery. However, a dead EV battery is better than a dead child or pet.

The other updates simply enhance the user interface. Voice commands, for example, are initiated with a single tap. And a transcript of the driver’s voice commands is displayed on the instrument panel to ensure command accuracy.

As for maps and navigation, destination search and initiating navigating to the driver’s home are now activated with a single touch.

Over all, simply based on reading the press release, 8.0 seems to be a robust update. However, I will save final judgement until I am able to get my hands on it.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/22/tesla-software-8-update/

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