Elon Musk responded to a tweet today to confirm that video streaming will be coming to Teslas in version 10 of the firmware for its vehicles.
The tweet builds on the automaker’s increasing focus on adding entertainment options to its vehicles. Elon previously confirmed that Tesla was working to add several old-school Atari games to the upcoming version of its firmware, version 9, due for release into production this month. The games will presumably only be available to drivers when the vehicle is parked, for now, but that gives Tesla the perfect sandbox in which to vet its multimedia solutions — and offers more fun for owners while charging.
Looking to the future, fully autonomous vehicles are shaping up to be the new “third space” in our lives as drivers increasingly evolve into passengers, freed up to learn, work, or simply sit back and be entertained. This new platform for in-car entertainment has been spotted by hardware manufacturers like Harman Kardon, multimedia tycoons like Chinese LeEco’s Jia Yueting, Tesla, and many others.
We theorized that the Model 3’s landscape display was the perfect platform for just such a transition, especially with its promise from Tesla’s over-the-air software updates. The tweet today confirms that Tesla — or at least CEO Elon Musk — sees the potential for the display to be used for more than just showing vehicle speed, navigation, and other information that essentially becomes irrelevant in a world of full self-driving vehicles.
Wh0 cares how fast the car is going, which cars are around, and where the vehicle is on the navigation if it is not being piloted by a human? Why not put on a film or browse YouTube instead? Maybe watch some CleanTechnica videos? It’s not clear yet if Elon is only planning on enabling video streaming while charging/parked or if he’s hinting at more competent full self-driving capability, making the feature more even more relevant. Given that Tesla’s firmware version 9 will introduce the first full self-driving features, it’s sensible that version 10 would bring with it a more refined full self-driving suite.
It’s insane to think that at a time when Tesla is focused on ramping up production of the Model 3, designing a handful of new cars (including Model Y, the Tesla pickup truck, Tesla Semi, and the next-gen Roadster), it is also continuously rolling out software improvements to its existing fleet of options. Tesla has never kept a narrow focus. Instead, it obsessively heaps more and more onto its plate in an increasingly successful bid to change the world for the better. I, for one, am pulling for the company to succeed.