Life with Tesla v9

I updated my Model X, Pensive, to Version 9: the first major version of Tesla's vehicle software since I took delivery. I upgraded in part because other Tesla owners had lauded the Autosteering updates; but also to see if it resolved some on-going issues, and because it was clear whatever verification they had done after doing a factory reset and upgrade wasn't worth much.


I'd heard positive feedback about Autosteering in the latest update (back in July, Elon said to expect the first steps toward full self-driving were planned for release in August; presumably this is what he meant). The steering under semi-autonomous mode is significantly more natural: there is less throwing you into tress, and more negotiating the road throughout a turn. The driver's dash also shows reasonable guesses on unmarked roads, even when it isn't confident enough to offer Autopilot; this does inspire additional confidence (or at least provide insight) when the car is maintaining Autopilot (i.e. stretches of road where it wouldn't let you re-engage Autosteering if it were disengaged).


A surprising item in the new features list of v9 is an in-built dash cam, mostly because it always seemed like something Tesla should have made available much earlier considering they own so much of the technical plumbing in the car, and this should have been fairly easy to add. What is provided will in no way compete with any of the top-tier aftermarket solutions (BlackVue appears to be a very popular brand among Tesla owners). The in-built version is blocky, low-resolution, and washes-out in bright light (and is a fundamental aspect of how the car avoids running into things when Autopilot is enabled). For dashcam purposes, that is recording what happened recently, it should serve the purpose as it's incredibly convenient to tell it to save the previous ten minutes of your drive.

With one exception, as you would expect from Tesla software. The dashcam functionality is buggy. There is a good chance that if you have a properly configured USB drive plugged-in, and have the dashcam enabled, when you start the car back-up, the Dashcam functionality will be absent. It seems that the car is apt to corrupt its dashcam data; the car cannot recover from that on its own, meaning you're out of luck until you can connect the USB drive to a computer, empty (or correct) the dashcam directory, and then plug the drive back into the car. Which is a great lead-in to the last observations on V9:

Still Buggy

V9 is still buggy, in fact bugs that were fixed late in V8 appear to have resurfaced: notably issues with the HTML component are back, meaning that the owner manual among other elements is unreliable. Generally, v9 is not worse than it had been, other than that. Other issues also still exist, such as the self-closing walk-away locking issue; although it's unclear to me if this is a software issue or may be a hardware limitation relating to the way I sometimes leave the car.

I did get a response regarding the self-closing doors, although it wasn't useful:

To follow up on your concern, have you tried doing a scroll wheel reset yet to see if that addresses the issue? You can do so by pressing and holding the brake pedal and the two scroll buttons for 30 seconds. This will then reset the touchscreen and possibly resolve the issue.

If the issue persist, it may be an issue only a service technician would be able to assist with. Please reach out to the nearest service center to you for assistance.

With a one week turn-around, it seems that Tesla support has made some progress working through their support backlog. In response, I inquired to confirm whether he meant I should reset the car each time I get out, but so far have not gotten a response to that (nor, for that matter, this nor this nor most of the service questions from my first service appointment).