Tesla update gives EVs more power and 'automatic' navigation

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Tesla's latest earnings call hinted at an update that would boost its electric cars' performance, and now that update appears to be rolling out -- with a few extras in store. Drivers receiving the upgrade get up to five percent more power thanks to optimized motor control, giving them better acceleration and overall performance. Elon Musk had also mentioned improvements to range and charging speeds during the call, so expect to drive a little farther from now on.

There are also some conveniences, including one that hadn't been mentioned before. Automatic Navigation chooses "likely" routes when you get in the car based on your Home and Work locations, your calendar events and the time of day. You'll get a route home when you're leaving the office on a Monday evening, for instance. The "automatic" label is a bit of a misnomer -- you still have to drive yourself, at least for now -- but it could make life easier if you're tired of punching in directions.

You'll also find a Scheduled Departure feature that replaces the earlier Smart Preconditioning. Your EV not only adjusts the cabin temperature, but schedules charging to ensure that you're topped up while avoiding peak electricity rates. Between this and Automatic Navigation, you might only have to unplug the charger and start driving.

The update is expected to reach owners over the course of the next few weeks.