Tesla has never stopped improving its vehicles' safety, even if it just offers new features that other cars already have. A peek inside the 2023.38 software reveals that Tesla will finally add the ability to automatically call emergency services after a serious crash. According to Green (@greentheonly), Tesla will offer the option to auto-dial 911 after a collision when airbags deploy, a simple feature that can save many lives.
Tesla is already offering an Emergency Call (eCall) feature in Europe, where it is mandatory. The car automatically calls 112 (the European equivalent of 911) and communicates essential information like vehicle type, the number of passengers detected in the vehicle, GPS position, and the VIN.
The ability to automatically call 911 after a severe crash allows emergency services to deploy faster at the crash scene, potentially saving more lives. Other carmakers in the US also offer an emergency call function by either calling 911 directly or a special concierge number (GM's OnStar is an example).
The 2023.38 software also reveals modifications in the Supercharger pricing that may not be to everyone's liking. As Tesla expects increased Supercharger traffic from next year, it will adopt a new policy to convince drivers to spend as little time as possible at the station. You'll pay a congestion fee if you try to charge above 80% at a high-use Supercharger station. There's no information about what a "high-use" station means and how much the congestion fee will be.
The same software update hints at new features integrated into the Tesla map service. In the future, Teslas will be able to send road reports when they notice objects on the road. Unlike Waze, where you need to input this info into the app, Tesla would do it automatically. A corresponding alert will be sent to other Teslas driving in the area and, potentially, to other road users if subscribed to an alert service that uses Tesla data.
Last year, Tesla announced a partnership with Emergency Safety Solutions to add the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol (HELP) to its vehicles. The protocol works in two ways to improve road safety. First, in the case of a road incident or crash, the hazard lights will blink much faster to better grab other drivers' attention. This is documented in the release notes of the 2023.38 software update.
Secondly, the system automatically notifies oncoming drivers when a hazardous situation (such as a car stopped or other objects on the road) is detected. This sounds a lot like the alert Green discovered in the 2023.38 software version. Although the new functions are supported in software, it doesn't mean Tesla will switch them on immediately. But they will eventually, and every Tesla owner in North America should benefit.
Peeked a bit into 2023.38, lots of stuff seems to be in motion.— green (@greentheonly) October 20, 2023
Congestion fees added (if you charge above 80% on a congested supercharger)
"object on road" pushed by map service (waze-like, but detected by (other tesla) car visions?)
option to autodial 911 on airbag deploy