Speculation: Why are Tesla firmware updates so unevenly distributed?

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Where do you live / When do you get software updates?

  • West NA / Soon After Release

  • West NA / 1-2 Days After Release

  • West NA / 3-5 Days After Release

  • Central NA / Soon After Release

  • Central NA / 1-2 Days After Release

  • Central NA / 3-5 Days After Release

  • East NA / Soon After Release

  • East NA / 1-2 Days After Release

  • East NA / 3-5 Days After Release

  • Varies Each Time


Results are only viewable after voting.

Brokedoc

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#1
I know that there are several software people on this forum so I wanted to throw this question out to the group because it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to me!

My Model X is currently running about 5-6 builds behind the current version. Every time I see a new version pop up on the boards, I anxiously look forward to getting it but I think my last update was at least 6 weeks ago. Also, there are times that I may be a few versions behind and when I DO EVENTUALLY get the update, I'm updated with a version that's 2 or 3 versions old and not the newest version.

There doesn't appear to be any logical reason why Tesla does it this way. As a layperson, I would expect a new version to come out and as it is being distributed to the fleet, it may be staggered due to bandwidth reasons but I don't see why older versions would be sent out instead of the newest version.

I REALLY want to have the 2018.4.x so I can have the steering wheel heater stay on but I've been making sacrifices daily to the Tesla Gods and doing my rain dances without any success!!!! I think my next step is to plug into the Supercharger at the Service Center, connect to their wifi network and do my sacrificial dance to the Tesla UI Gods in their parking lot..... while naked...
 

Bokonon

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#2
My Model X is currently running about 5-6 builds behind the current version. Every time I see a new version pop up on the boards, I anxiously look forward to getting it but I think my last update was at least 6 weeks ago. Also, there are times that I may be a few versions behind and when I DO EVENTUALLY get the update, I'm updated with a version that's 2 or 3 versions old and not the newest version.

There doesn't appear to be any logical reason why Tesla does it this way. As a layperson, I would expect a new version to come out and as it is being distributed to the fleet, it may be staggered due to bandwidth reasons but I don't see why older versions would be sent out instead of the newest version.
Wow, 5-6 builds behind strikes me as unusual, almost to the point where I'd ask about it (without expecting a meaningful response, mind you). That said, there's probably a logical (if inscrutable) reason why it's lagging behind.

I have no particular insight into Tesla's release-management philosophy, but in general, for any software product, there are several factors that influence who will get a particular build and when:

1. Overall priority of the build. How urgent are the issues that the build addresses? Does it fix critical bugs that adversely impact the basic usability of the product (e.g. cars getting bricked), potentially on a wide scale? Does it contain new features or other enhancements that would radically improve the product quality for a large number of users? Or does the build only contain relatively minor bug fixes and enhancements that affect only a small proportion of users?

2. Overall risk associated with the build. What known issues, if any, does this build contain? Has testing revealed any regressions (i.e. zombie bugs back from the dead) or unintended side-effects that result from the changes made in this build? What is the level of confidence in the results and coverage of the tests that have been performed?

3. Specific priority / risk associated with the build. Is this build more important for some groups of users than others? (e.g. a tweak to the arcs that the Model X's Falcon Wing Doors trace doesn't really apply to Model S or Model 3) Similarly, does the build contain more risk for some user groups than others?

4. User tolerance thresholds. Whether through self-identification or some other means, are there certain sub-segments of users who are more tolerant of bugs, glitches, and "beta" features than others? (e.g. Tesla employees, long-time owners, opted-in beta testers) Are there sub-segments of users who have demonstrably lower tolerance for these types of issues? (e.g. owners with frequent service-center visits or who have encountered significant, show-stopping issues in the past)

(There are others, I am sure, but those four are the main ones that are at the forefront of my mind whenever I plan a new release in my day job.)

From this set of factors, you can plan a multi-stage deployment process that aims to minimize risk while maximizing user acceptance and satisfaction at full deployment. Riskier builds will generally start with a limited initial rollout among fault-tolerant users followed by extensive validation, while urgent-priority builds may be "fast-tracked" to a larger initial segment of users in order to mitigate serious widespread issues confirmed in the field.

Whatever the plan for a particular release, it will almost certainly vary from one build to the next, and in some cases where a builds need extensive in-the-field validation prior to wide release, the plan may actually be dependent on / intertwined with the deployment status of a prior build. Naturally, this can get quite complicated in short order, which is why release management is starting to emerge as a formal discipline in software engineering, rather than something a product manager "just eyeballs" before making a decision.

So for your particular situation, feel free to ask the Service Center about when you can expect to receive the latest build, but I would generally advise patience, and trust that your Model X will receive the update when it's ready. I mean, what good is a heated steering wheel that stays on if your Falcon Wing Doors keep bumping into the car parked next to you, or if the car randomly fires up the Model X-Mas Light Show every night at 3:00am? :)
 

Maevra

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#3
@Brokedoc have you tried to call Customer Support to request the update? I know they don't normally push updates just by request, but if you are very behind, maybe your latest update is in limbo (happened to me a while back).

Tell them you are very behind on updates and could they please run a diagnostic test just to see if you have a failed update or one that didn't completely download that is blocking the queue.
 

Brokedoc

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#4
@Brokedoc have you tried to call Customer Support to request the update? I know they don't normally push updates just by request, but if you are very behind, maybe your latest update is in limbo (happened to me a while back).

Tell them you are very behind on updates and could they please run a diagnostic test just to see if you have a failed update or one that didn't completely download that is blocking the queue.
Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll try that before dancing naked in the Service Center parking lot. It's pretty cold in New York right now!!! :snowboarder:
 

msjulie

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#5
W/o knowing who has purchased EAP and FSD this is a guess - though perhaps reasonable... my car is still running 2017.50.13 and service tells me there is nothing newer. I did not opt for the above software so if bug fixes are in those areas, that would make sense.

I do want to know why some can turn on the front seater heaters via the phone app and I still can't - first world sadness.
 

Maevra

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#6
I do want to know why some can turn on the front seater heaters via the phone app and I still can't - first world sadness.
The pre-heated seats can't be triggered manually via the app. :( They appear only as part of the defrost/pre-heat option and seem to need a certain temp to activate. I only ever saw it trigger on our car once, so likely the car just doesn't think it's cold enough where we are. Maybe fellow owners in much colder temps have seen it more often.
 

theloneranger08

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#8
The update that included summon and cabin overheating protection came out weeks ago but I still haven't gotten it. I know that they do updates in batches but going weeks without an update is pretty frustrating. I've heard of people waiting monmon... Really hoping Elon fulfills his promise to allow us to request an update soon.

What are y'all's experiences?
 

John

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#9
The update that included summon and cabin overheating protection came out weeks ago but I still haven't gotten it. I know that they do updates in batches but going weeks without an update is pretty frustrating. I've heard of people waiting monmon... Really hoping Elon fulfills his promise to allow us to request an update soon.

What are y'all's experiences?
It varies, and when some releases start rolling out they find a bug, and you never get that version. The most recent 2018.24.1 was like that for me. Only about 20% of Model 3s got that version before they switched to 2018.24.7. So no big loss.

I know this because I subscribe to Teslafi for $5 a month, so I can watch as updates come out and roll out to other Teslafi members.

You should make a friend with your local Mobile Service Advisor. I emailed mine Tuesday and requested a push. Within the hour she replied thusly:

"I have just deployed firmware to your Model 3. Please let me know if that was successful and if there is anything else I can do for you. Thank you."
 

PNWmisty

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#10
The update that included summon and cabin overheating protection came out weeks ago but I still haven't gotten it. I know that they do updates in batches but going weeks without an update is pretty frustrating. I've heard of people waiting monmon... Really hoping Elon fulfills his promise to allow us to request an update soon.

What are y'all's experiences?
As much as I want the latest and greatest, I'm more than willing for someone else to test it out so it can be improved before I get it.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#11
It can take up to “a couple of months” for a software update to go fleetwide per my service advisor.
 

GDN

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#14
I truly like the SW releases vetted, but inside have to wish they did roll a little faster. I get needing to get the bugs worked out.

21.9 is the only release I've had so far, and I'm thinking that had the brake update in it, so I think Tesla pushed that one harder and faster because it was a big public issue. Still hoping to get some Summon love soon.

I don't subscribe to Teslafi, but they make their update page available to everyone, I've started watching it and posting results some.

S and X started getting a new 26. release yesterday, but no 3's. And no S or X has received 24.7, but it is still rolling SLOW.
 

theloneranger08

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#15
It varies, and when some releases start rolling out they find a bug, and you never get that version. The most recent 2018.24.1 was like that for me. Only about 20% of Model 3s got that version before they switched to 2018.24.7. So no big loss.

I know this because I subscribe to Teslafi for $5 a month, so I can watch as updates come out and roll out to other Teslafi members.

You should make a friend with your local Mobile Service Advisor. I emailed mine Tuesday and requested a push. Within the hour she replied thusly:

"I have just deployed firmware to your Model 3. Please let me know if that was successful and if there is anything else I can do for you. Thank you."
I thought that you have to take the car into the service center to get an update. A mobile service rep can push it wirelessly?
 

zosoisnotaword

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#16
It was delivered with 14.7 or something like that. I never got 14.13, but when 18.1 rolled out I got it the second day (with the hidden cabin overheat menu), and then got 18.2 and 18.3 immediately as they were available.

Got my windshield replaced, they had the car about two weeks and it came home around June 8 with 21.9, which was newly released at the time. I thought I was in the early group for updates, but not a peep has been heard from the week 24 series. I'm still on 21.9. I just want access to the A/C overheat option since I charge for free at work all day.
 

NOGA$4ME

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#17
Is there a "waiting period" after taking delivery of a new vehicle before it will start to receive updates?

I took delivery on 7/13. I am still at 18.14, whereas according to TeslaFi most of the fleet is at least at 21.9 by now. Just wondering if this is to be expected, or is there a setting to enable updates that I need to set?
 

SoFlaModel3

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#18
Is there a "waiting period" after taking delivery of a new vehicle before it will start to receive updates?

I took delivery on 7/13. I am still at 18.14, whereas according to TeslaFi most of the fleet is at least at 21.9 by now. Just wondering if this is to be expected, or is there a setting to enable updates that I need to set?
As it was explained to me, updates can take upward of “a few months” to reach the entire fleet. There is seemingly no rhyme or reason to who gets it and when (or at least nothing we can discern).

There are 2 ways (maybe 3) to get updates...

1) Patience and just wait for it
2) Have service work performed
3) Rumor is connecting to Tesla WiFi may push things along
 

aquadoggie

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#19
I took delivery in March and got at least 3 updates within the first couple of months or so, up to 18.3. I've been stuck on that ever since. The rep at I got when I called basically told me to pound sand and wait. I really want the cabin overheat protection, given that it's a high of 104 in Austin today...
 

AnthonyR

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#20
Hi, can some one please help me figure out how to turn auto updates off??
When I set up my 3 I turned it on thinking updates would happen automatically, but now I would like to actually see when they arrive so that I know a new update is to be installed.