This update insures that the driver of the Model S ran out of battery by choice.
Basically, it will warn you when you are out of range from a Tesla Supercharger. Why is this important and significant? Your ICE (internal combustion engine) car runs off of gasoline or diesel, which you can get at any gas station of which there are practically everywhere, so you do not really have to worry about finding one. With an EV, charging stations can be hard to find so this is the first one to constantly calculate the amount of energy it would take to get to a Supercharger, taking into account wind speed, height change, and weather. So, it can accurately warn you when you are out of range from a Supercharger.
Now if you run out of battery, it will be by your own choice. If you want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no supercharger near by, you cannot blame Tesla for not trying to help you out. Even if you do manage to do that, call them and they’ll probably come pick you up.
With the update it will plan your trip based on integrating the best charging options along your route. These are not based on charging at every station you come across, they will allow you to drive for 3 to 4 hours like you usually would on a long distance trip then take a break. While you’re going to the washroom, grabbing a bite to eat, enjoying the scenery, or just resting, you can charge up the car for 20 to 30 minutes on a Supercharger. Sitting is bad for you, so Tesla is probably doing you a favour by planning your breaks.
If you want to see what Elon Musk is doing, he is headlining each significant update with fixes to the greatest criticisms. The reasons to own a Tesla are decreasing every update, and this is not a coincidence. By the time the first Model 3 rolls off of the production line and into customer hands, there will be significant autopilot features, Superchargers within range of the majority of the population, and an interior more in line with competing brands.
You can guarantee, that every reasonable criticism anyone has of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk is plotting a way to fix it. I always get the feeling that when he does these updates he is staring at you to and just saying, “done, okay now what other reasonable complaint do you have?”
Links via Tesla Motors