Binge watching car crash videos will take on a whole new meaning.
In a time where texting while driving can land you a fat traffic ticket, Tesla appears to be preparing to add support for native playback of Youtube and Netflix video content to be streamed directly into the car.
The features will come as part of a firmware update to most Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 electric vehicles which will also include other infotainment improvements and games as well as upgrades to its Autopilot suite, specifically around its traffic light and stop sign recognition system.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed the new goodies that will be packed into the Software v10 update, which is expected over the coming months, over Twitter along with the aforementioned support for YouTube and Netflix streaming, touting the “cinematic feel” the cabin provides.
While true that the in-car speakers will do a better job than most people’s TV setup at home for audio, the same isn’t all that true for video in the Model S and Model X with its portrait screen tilted to face the driver, unless the playback is also beamed to the digital instrument cluster. The Model 3, though, is different story.
For safety reasons, though, video playback will be restricted to only be enabled when the car is stationary. However, the company is looking to have that limitation lifted as soon as they can, allowing occupants (and the driver) to watch streaming video content while on the move.
This is contingent upon regulators approving fully autonomous driving on public roads. Should that happen, they will also need to side with Tesla in their argument that their Autopilot system is so safe as to have all driver attention diverted from his or her surroundings.
We also hope Tesla has built mechanism to ensure that video streaming is totally locked off while on the move. There will be some interesting statistics if most people are bypassing this block, such as ‘which cat videos cause the most car crashes’.