After our huge drive in the Tesla Model S down the west coast of America, we were blown away by the capabilities of the car, provided there’s a suitable charge network.
At the time, we didn’t know Tesla’s plans down under – but a broad-scale rollout is planned and this one in St Leonards is already up and running.
Supercharger stations are being set up across Australia - Sydney’s lower north shore is now covered and we know the brand has big plans for a broad-scale rollout, including Melbourne and Canberra by the end of this year and then another north of Brisbane by the end of 2016.
And by then, who knows what your Tesla could do? Why do we say that? Because Tesla can update its cars over the internet while you sleep.
Since our drive in November 2014, Tesla has already introduced a range of updates for the car, but only for those who have optioned the Tech Pack and Autopilot Hardware – which is 100 per cent of Australian customers, according to Tesla.
The updates include 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.
The brand is saying it will “end range anxiety” with new navigation software that includes Trip Planner and Range Assurance functions, which have just been added/are set to be added within days.
When the driver keys a final destination into the Trip Planner (above), the system will plot out a route that incorporates all the necessary Supercharger pit stops. Had this function been available last year, it would have made planning for our 1800km trip from Seattle to Los Angeles easier.
The Range Assurance module runs constantly in the background, even if navigation system is off, monitoring the car’s battery charge. If it believes that you may soon venture out of charging range, it will prompt you with nearby Supercharger locations, previously used charging spots, and recharging outlets installed by Tesla at hotels and resorts.
Other more driver-focused elements include automated emergency braking and blind spot monitoring, which is active between 30 and 140km/h, with alerts coming up here, in the instrument cluster. In the case of a likely collision, the system will also vibrate the steering wheel and sound a warning chime.
Further to all this, Tesla is reportedly promising an update with version 7 of its onboard software that will see the car drive itself.
We can’t wait for that, but until then we’re quite happy taking control of the Model S, which remains a technological masterpiece.