Tesla has been pushing the use of software updates, and especially over-the-air software updates, like never before in the automotive industry. Other automakers have been held back by their dependence on third-party dealerships who want to retain their monopoly on servicing vehicles, which is threatened by over-the-air software updates.

It will be more difficult to stop this progress in the near future, especially with the advent of autonomous driving, and Tesla’s full list of new features enabled with software updates gives us a glimpse at what it can do.

Beyond the issue with dealerships, the ability to remotely alter code in a vehicle has often been seen as too risky in the automotive world and an approach better left to the mobile industry.

Tesla has been pushing new features through over-the-air software updates ever since the introduction of the Model S in 2012. At first, it was only for UI changes and customer experience features, but things got more interesting when it moved to the Autopilot.

In order to make things more secure when introducing the first major Autopilot (7.0) in 2015, Tesla partnered with Red Bend Software, whose Smart Delta technology allows to replace the code instead of replacing the entire file. Adding major capability through OTA updates has been a major selling point for Tesla ever since.

Several more automakers have since announced that they will make OTA updates a more important part of their customer experience. For example, Nissan teamed up with Microsoft last year to offer the service in its vehicles by the end of the decade.

Here are a few examples of release notes from Tesla when it releases a new update:

Dealing with the updates on an update-to-update basis, owners often find themselves disappointed by the updates because maybe it didn’t include the feature they were hoping for, but it’s different when taking some perspective and looking at the entire list of updates that Tesla introduced.

A Redditor on /r/teslamotors put together a full comprehensive list to help “visualize the amount of features added by Tesla” through software updates for the pre-Autopilot and first gen Autopilot cars..

The added features vary from the simple UI changes, like the addition of a button, which might seem mild, but it is still unique in the auto industry before Tesla or Apple Car/Android Auto, to the widely reported updates to Tesla’s Autopilot system. Here’s the full list:

Date SW Update Version Feature Description
9/23/2012
1.9.11
Added projected and rated range
Added Entry / Exit feature – Displays on and Media auto play for entry and decrease volume upon exit
10/9/2012
1.13.16
Added Driver profiles (up to 10 can be saved)
Added Creep mode (emulate automatic transmission idle forward)
Added Traffic lines in map
Added higher volume granularity
Added Lock and Unlock touch screen buttons separated for ease of use
Added Mobile App Remote Access
11/30/2012 1.15.14 Added cancel button to nav
11/30/2012
1.17.5
Added Vehicle sleep mode (reduced vampire drain)
Added App launcher
Added voice commands
Added auto present door handles
Added vehicle alarm
Added ability to switch between metric and imperial units
Added range mode
Added USB sorting for media
Added ability to call phone numbers from map screen
Added fan speed and sunroof controls to steering wheel controls
Added location aware homelink
3/13/2013 1.19.35 Added scheduled charging mode
6/7/2013
1.31.48
Added supercharger locations to maps
Added visited chargers to maps
Added battery charge limit slider (Standard and Max Range)
6/20/2013
1.33.61
Added contact sorting options
Added new defrost mode
Added battery support (will draw power from wall instead of battery for HVAC)
Added battery ability to heat from utility instead of itself
8/28/2013
1.35.107
Added wifi
Added tow mode
Added screen cleaning mode
Added radio presets to steering wheel controls
Added tracking modes in map (north up or vehicle up)
12/21/2013
1.49.57
Added Current anomaly detection (auto reduce charging amp by 25% if problem is detected)
Added wiper service mode
Added TPMS reset option
5/25/2014
1.51.109
Added RDIO
Added hill assist
Added smart air suspension options (auto lower for highway speeds)
Added home and work locations
9/4/2014
1.64.39
Added asian font support for media player
Added FOB reprogram/swap ability
Added slacker radio reset ability
11/19/2014
1.67.125
Added traffic aware navigation
Added Calendar
Added more power management options
Added location based air suspension settings
Added custom car name
3/17/2015
2.2.200
Added international OSK (onscreen keyboard)
Added trip energy prediction
Added TACC to AP1 cars
Added auto high beam to AP1 cars
Added forward collision warning to AP1 cars
Added energy option for battery display
Added smart preconditioning (auto warm your car based on habits)
Added reverse lines in backup cam (FINALLY!!!)
Added parkview assist
Added shuffle and repeat to media player (FINALLY!!!)
Added factory reset option
9/21/2015
2.5.85
Added trip planner with routing via Superchargers
Added range assurance
Added valet mode
Added Blind spot warning
Added AEB (auto emergency braking)
Added pin dropping to navigation map
12/31/2015
2.9.77
Added Launch mode
Added Clock widget
Added RWD Torque sleep
9/18/2016
2.36.31
Added perpendicular autopark
Added Homelink Auto open/close
Added auto brightness to display
Added Supercharger availability
Added spotify music service
Added Summon to ap1 cars
12/22/2016
2.50.114
Added supercharger amenities
Added automatic driver profiles based on key fobs
Added 2 car visibility to cars with AP
Added ability to name trip meter
Added swipe abilities in navigation
Added cabin overheat protection (cools the cabin if past 40C)
Added homelink audio tone

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