That’s how someone described a Tesla recently, talking about how the software keeps changing. I had watched a few videos after I stumbled on this one:
That got me thinking, and writing. I’ve got an editorial on this coming up, but really I was intrigued by the idea that the car would be upgraded, and not by unlocking features, but by adding them.
I wrote before about BMW adding lots of things to the car and letting you unlock them. You could rent heated seats, for example, for a road trip, or a few months. Or rent them in your newly purchased secondhand car, when the previous owner never wanted them. That’s an interesting idea, but it’s simple. We know what’s available, and we pick from the menu of features.
The Tesla thing is more interesting. They are upgrading the car. They have upgraded software to add more range to vehicles. They added sentry mode and dog mode. The change things, which sometimes is annoying for users when the UI moves, but it’s a neat idea.
It’s DevOps in real time and in the real world. Not everything works, but not all changes in cars work. Plenty of mechanical designs find flaws and the last few decades, plenty of car software has had issues. I wish that more companies would adopt the upgradeable car, and make changes to improve things. Simple things, like letting me roll up windows remotely. My BMW had remote locking doors from an app, which I used when I got the airport, went inside and wasn’t sure I’d locked the car, but they stopped some of those features and turned off the wireless update (likely a security issue).
I’m becoming more intrigued by Tesla, and I am considering one for the next car. I wouldn’t have thought that a few years ago, but for some reason the fans are convincing me.