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by Matt Campbell

Australian owners of the Tesla Model S are likely to have their cars updated while they sleep this week, with the first “over the air” software upgrade rolling out to the electric sedan now.

Telsa rolls out its upgrades wirelessly, with the car downloading software patches – in this case, v6.1 – that brings new features to vehicles that buyers don’t need to pay any extra cash for.

The v6.1 update will be seen on Model S cars fitted with the Tech Package and Autopilot hardware – which the company’s local arm confirmed has been fitted to all vehicles sold here – and includes a number of items that we thought it needed during our lengthy US road trip in the Tesla Model S.


Included are a radar-based cruise control system that Tesla calls “Traffic-Aware Cruise Control”, as well Collision Avoidance Assist that warns the driver of an imminent collision. Automatic high-beam headlights have also been included as part of the update.

An interior feature now added to the Model S is Smart Preconditioning, which will recognise if there is a pattern about when you’re getting home or leaving home and set the temperature of the car before you set off. In the company’s own words, “Model S will observe your driving schedule and when it’s confident in identifying a pattern, it will start Smart Preconditioning when you are charging, at home, or at work”.

Further enhancements include virtual parking assistance lines that display on the reverse-view camera, as well as a way of switching between camera and parking sensors on the display.


Further changes include shuffle and repeat buttons in the Media Player, one-touch phone dialling in Calendar events, and expanded podcast support.