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Tesla to push new UI improvements in ‘coming weeks’ and OS 8.1 in December, says Musk


While Tesla’s software update version 8.0 brought several welcomed improvements to its fleet, it was far from unanimously appreciated by owners. As usual, new Autopilot restrictions are rarely appreciated, but also several new UI changes were disliked.

Now CEO Elon Musk promises to push “several”  improvements in the coming weeks with v8.01 and then a much more significant update with version 8.1, but that will have to wait until December according to Musk.

Most of the complaints are about the media player, especially when playing from a USB drive, but Musk made the comment while responding to an owner complaining about the loss of control of SiriusXM.

An owner even started a petition for Tesla to finally push the Spotify update to owners in North America – something that has been available to European owners for months now.

The design itself of the new media app is not really a problem, but owners are reporting several bugs and connectivity issues. Here’s a look at the media app in v8.0:

Spotify is generally prefered by Tesla owners to Slacker, which is the current music streaming app in North American cars. As the author of the petition, David Pakman, noted:

“Current U.S. Tesla owners only have access to Slacker, an inferior music service with limited functionality. Slacker does not allow users to stream particular songs on demand, instead it creates playlists based on an artist or song request. It is impossible to simply listen to a single album on-demand.

Spotify has more than 40 million paying users globally (and more than 100 million users total) with a music catalog of more than 30 million tracks. It is the most full-featured on-demand music service, with hundreds of thousands of curated playlists, millions of others, incredible social-sharing features, and true on-demand listening. “

It remains to be seen when Tesla will enable access to the app, but as we reported last month, the app is already in the US version of the software and it’s just inaccessible to owners. The problem might have to do with overlapping contracts between Tesla, Slacker, and Spotify, for the US market.

In December, we should see v8.1 starting to be pushed to some vehicles. Not much is known about the upcoming update other than what Tesla announced in the release notes of v8.0 about the new off-ramp feature:

“When at a highway exit, it will favor marked lane lines in the direction of vehicle indicator (8.0)* or in the direction suggested by the navigation system if active (8.1). This feature will be available initially in the US and later in all countries where lane markings are open for highway exits.”

That will be for Model S and X owners with the first generation Autopilot, but Tesla also aims for the second generation Autopilot to catch up with similar features under its ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ option by the end of the year.

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