Tesla’s are often referred to a computer on wheels, it’s hard to imagine any other car that has a better technology stack. One of the car’s biggest assets is built-in 4G connectivity.
Being connected to the internet enables a Tesla to stream music from Spotify and TuneIn Radio, watch YouTube and Netflix (while stopped), control the climate control from your phone and for those with FSD, even drive the vehicle to your location (in a parking lot).
One of the connectivity pieces is the ability to receive live traffic data and have the navigation re-route you around accidents and congestion, getting you to your destination faster.
What is kind of amazing to me is that this connectivity is not leveraged to better inform occupants of emergencies.
Today is one of Australia’s worst fire days with fires in at least 3 states that have the potential to take lives. While traffic data is included, emergency information is not. This means you could enter a navigation route into your Tesla and then drive right into the path of a fire.
With conventional, unconnected vehicles, the best option you have is to turn on the radio and listen for alerts about road closures, or pull over from time to time and check your state-based mobile app for fires.
With the Tesla, this could be dramatically improved.
In Australia, states are responsible for fire emergency responses, which is why we see a different website and different app for each state. As someone who lives on the border of Victoria and New South Wales, it definitely feels like we should have 1 aggregated source of information at emergency.gov.au.
Fires aside, it is also surprising that Tesla still don’t have message notification (sms and social) integration into their system. The two other automotive platforms, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay both offer text to voice playback of messages, and the ability to respond using voice control.
While Tesla has a lot of areas to focus on, this would certainly go a long way to making the car feel more connected and avoid feeling like you have a long to-do-list when you arrive. I’d also like to see the ability to subscribe to categories of notifications, like news, sports etc to keep you informed.
Increasing the feeling of connectedness of the driving experience, particularly with voice, would remove any temptation there is to touch your phone while driving.