Tesla Model S

The new firmware update for the Tesla Model S has arrived, bringing with it a few changes to how the all-electric car operates. The new features we find listed include the ability to connect to WiFi networks and to tether, a Tow Mode (for when the car is being towed, not to tow something using your fancy EV), a Screen Cleaning Mode and the ability to control the radio presets via steering wheel controls. There are also enhancements to the maps, driver profiles and "improved creep performance."

But perhaps the biggest news that the latest over-the-air update brings is what Tesla calls "Improved Power Management When Not In Use," or, as some know it, sleep mode. If this is anything like previous sleep mode updates in the Model S, the range should increase some. At the very least, we know some features of the car (Bluetooth, 3G) will take a bit longer to start up than they did before. There's an interesting "feature" to the maps change, too. Tesla admits that, "Note that the map labels will not adjust as the map rotates so they will be upside down when you are driving south."

Firmware 5.0 already has a bug tracker and you can see screen shots (some blurry) of the software on Flickr thanks to a Model S owner in Texas who discovered his new car came with the updated code installed.
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