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Elon Says Your Tesla Model 3 Will Soon Begin Hearing Voices

Elon Musk has tweeted that improved voice control systems will soon be coming to the Tesla Model 3. No doubt, that capability will cross over to Tesla’s other cars soon.

Our colleague Kyle Field recently published a detail-rich review of the Tesla Model 3. While Kyle is a dedicated Tesla guy and found the Model 3 thrilling to drive, he did have a few quibbles with how the center touch screen requires the drivers to take eyes off the road to perform certain tasks. Elon Musk heard you, Kyle, and he wants you to know he’s got your back on this.

Musk didn’t say so directly, but as voice control becomes embedded in the Model 3 software, the technology will likely cross over to Model S and Model X vehicles as well. Everything Tesla is doing at the moment is dedicated to making the Model 3 as close to perfect as possible. The other cars will have to wait for their little brother to get things sorted out, but they will probably get the benefits of improved voice control systems themselves in due course.

Keep in mind that unlike traditional automakers which must get everything working perfectly before their cars leave the factory, Tesla still leads the industry (by a country mile) in its ability to automatically update the software in the vehicles it builds with over the air updates. With the other guys, if an improvement to their rain sensing windshield wipers comes along, you either have to buy a whole new car to get it, or make a service appointment, take your car to the dealer, then hang around for a few hours while a technician installs the latest software updates.

With a Tesla, all that gets done seamlessly overnight while your car sits quietly in your garage. In the morning, you start your day driving a car that has all the same capabilities as cars coming off the assembly line that very moment. OTA updates don’t get quite the attention other features about Teslas do — like their ability to beat high priced exotics at the drag strip or tow 18 wheelers uphill on glare ice — but it is an important part of the Tesla ownership experience.

Tesla Model 3

Credit: Kyle Field

Until fully autonomous cars arrive, drivers will still need to keep their eyes on the road ahead in order to get where they are going safely. Some have questioned whether touchscreens — which first came into widespread use after the Tesla Model S went into production — aren’t as much of a distraction to drivers as cell phones and texting while driving, and of course they are. Anything that diverts attention from the road is a potential hazard to safe driving. Voice control will eliminate most if not all such distractions. And once again, the other car companies will be forced to follow in Tesla’s footsteps.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?


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