Elon Musk has announced through Twitter that the new navigation system for its electric cars would be rolled out this weekend. Musk clarified, however, that the overhauled navigation software will be released as a “mature beta”, with improvements set to come after its initial release.
New nav starts rolling out this weekend. Should be considered a mature beta at first, so won’t be perfect, but will improve rapidly. With the old system, we were stuck with legacy 3rd party black box code and stale data. No way to improve.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2018
Highlighting how significant this update will be, the new navigation system will have improved maps, but it will also improve the upgradeability of a rare aspect of Tesla vehicles that was previously difficult to improve with software updates.
The previous navigation and maps system was "stuck with legacy 3rd party black box code and stale data," Musk admitted in his tweet on Sunday. There was "No way to improve," he said. This explains why some owners complained to Tesla about outdated map data.
Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles have been using a combination of Garmin Navigon software and Google Maps for navigation and routing. Garmin Navigon’s information is displayed on the Model S and Model X, while the route is overlaid on Google Maps in the vehicles’ 17-inch touchscreen.
According to various sources, Elon Musk has been teasing the release of the new and improved navigation software for a few months now. Back in late December, Musk responded to a Tesla owner who complained that his 3-year-old car had only received one map update since he purchased it. This prompted Musk to issue a response on Twitter, stating that a new navigation system, one that is “light-years ahead,” would be released in 2018.
Tesla already demonstrated a significant lead over competition when it comes to over-the-air software updates to its vehicles, and the company has made some significant promises about what customers should expect from future software updates.
If Tesla's maps and navigation software is updated this weekend and should it deliver on its promise then Tesla would be fulfilling its promise of providing cutting edge software technology.