Overnight Elon Musk released new information about yet another functionality enhancement for Tesla owners. Tesla vehicles are getting the ability to stream YouTube videos and watch Netflix on the in-dash displays.
When the feature first rolls out, the video applications, like the arcade games are now, will be restricted to when the vehicle is in park. This is obviously for safety reasons, given the displays are in view of the driver.
If you are buying a Tesla, something to now consider more closely is the audio included in different models. The Standard Range Plus is the most affordable Model 3, but you do give up Premium Audio.
Elon says Netflix and YouTube support surround sound, but that impressiveness depends on you choosing the Long Range or Performance models that come with 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps and immersive sound.
As someone who has a Model 3 Performance- on order, I had never really allocated much of the price tag to the audio, but after this experience, I think I should. Gaming, music and podcasts are one thing, but watching movies is something else where great audio really matters.
A follow up tweet from Elon suggests that restriction will be lifted once regulators approve full self driving (FSD). This shows a renewed confidence in the company’s ability to deliver level 4 autonomy where the driver is not required to pay attention to the road.
When the vehicle is capable of driving itself, the idea of having Netflix and YouTube available to you is fantastic. Every car you’ve ever driven requires your attention, but the second that changes, you’re going to need to be entertained.
Netflix currently costs A$9.99 per month for a single screen in SD, but most people are on at least the middle tier which supports 2 screens and HD quality. This means you could use it in your Tesla while your family still watches on the TV at home. On the top-tier for A$17.99pm you get 4 screens and UltraHD, ensuring a stream in your car doesn’t leave kids without their Netflix.
If you’re already paying for Netflix, then use in the car would effectively be free and would certainly make a road-trip or daily commute a lot more bearable.
Elon has repeated the current timeline for FSD to be feature complete is the end of this year, which then leads into regulatory approval. He’s confident talks with governing bodies (outside Europe) will be swayed by the volume of data that proves their cars are capable and safer than humans.
The expectation is self-driving Tesla’s will be on the road next year (in select locations). Hopefully we see some progressive states of Australia expedite the approval of FSD as long as Tesla can prove it’s safety with data.
If our politicians and regulators are serious about reducing the road toll, relieving humans (the overwhelming cause of accidents) of their driving duties, is the most effective way of achieving this. Only then will people be able to text and drive safely, or watch Netflix.