Tesla Software Will Measure Environmental Conditions: More Precise Data For Better Range Calculations
Tesla models, hardware and software are constantly evolving and improving. Thanks to remote updates, they manage to implement new functionalities without having to visit mechanical workshops, as per the software features. Tesla is starting to roll out a new system update, the so-called version 2022.8.2, which introduces improvements and new functionalities as well as a more precise system for calculating range, thanks to being able to take into account different environmental factors.
Although at the moment this new software feature seems to have been unnoticed, some users specialized in the brand's vehicles have given clues about it. According to their own investigations, Tesla models can already specify consumption and autonomy in a better way, by taking into account weather conditions that up until now did not seem to be useful. It basically represents a tiny but important feature that will help users have a better understanding of how far they can travel with their electric vehicles before recharging.
Range calculation is not so easy to achieve. As regarding the consumption of any car, there are many different factors to take into account: although it is the driver who most influences the state of the battery, external agents also intervene that can weigh down expectations. Air density, lateral wind, frontal wind, terrain leveling, atmospheric conditions; all these parameters affect energy consumption and range figures. The electronic brains of regular cars do not normally take such types of (important) data into account.
Tesla cars do though, or so it seems after the last updates announced. According to some social media users and Tesla fans, the new improvement allows winds, air quality and even ambient humidity to be taken into account when calculating consumption and range. We must bear in mind that cars hide many control elements that we do not see, but that are there to fulfill various important uses, as it is in this case.
The interior cabin radar finally starts to get signs of life so might come live relatively soon? (on s/x cars)
Trip energy accounting now takes into account cross/headwinds, air density and humidity when available (possibly China only for now?)
— green (@greentheonly) March 16, 2022
A small meteorological laboratory allows to calculate the external conditions. Teslas are known for the quality of their interior environments. Multiple sensors and filters collect information on the state of the air to apply better filtering, air that finally reaches the driver and the other people in the car. It seems that these same sensors will be in charge of taking the measurements with which the electronic brain will make constant calculations in order to evaluate range and consumption, thus improving precision, which is at the moment one of the issues that represent a weak point in any electric car.
This new software update functionality seems to be available only in China as of right now, something that is becoming more and more common in Tesla. If this improvement of the system finally turns out to be an improvement for all users, it is very logical to think that it will be extended worldwide, as it will help reduce range anxiety, a problem experienced by many first-time EV users, and which would finally mean being able to travel in a more relaxed, calmed way.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.