-- Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed today how the electric car company is making it impossible for drivers to ever run out of charge, along with other features they can expect to see in the future.
A software update for "range assurance" will allow existing Tesla vehicles to communicate every 30 seconds or so with superchargers, alerting the driver if they're in danger of going out of range.
Musk said it is "basically impossible" to run out charge on a Tesla with the new software infrastructure, which could be delivered to owners within the next ten days.
"You have intelligent charging stations and an intelligent car communicating in a big network. That has never existed before," Musk said during a conference call with reporters.
The entry-level Model S can go as far as 265 miles before needing to recharge, while the high-end model can get nearly 300 miles on a charge.
The second software update will allow Tesla drivers to optimize their road trips to ensure they have the "most convenient route" to their destination, Musk said.
That includes pit stops along the way where drivers may stop at a hotel or restaurant and use a Tesla supercharger while grabbing a bite to eat.
Musk also teased other features Tesla drivers can expect to see in the future and revealed how the high end electric cars are pretty much able to go from parking lot to parking lot without a driver ever having to touch the controls.
On a test route from San Francisco to Seattle, Musk said a Tesla driver barely touched any controls during the 800-mile trip.
"[It's[ technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot but we won’t be enabling that for users with this hardware sweep because we don’t think its likely to be safe in suburban neighborhoods," Musk said. "It will only be enabled once you're on a highway or major road."
Even then, he said, there will be an expectation that drivers will still pay attention to the road instead of taking a nap.
Another feature Tesla drivers can look forward to is called "summon," which can be used on private property to have a Tesla drive itself to you or put itself to sleep in the garage.
Musk also revealed Tesla drivers can look forward to a valet mode that will limit speed, torque and will protect confidential information when a driver puts their car in someone else's care.