Tesla Might Open Infotainment To Third-Party Developers

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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Tesla already offers a slew of distinctive entertainment options and fun features for its owners. However, it could soon open up its infotainment system to outside developers — and that includes game creators.

  • CEO Elon Musk revealed that Tesla would like to open its infotainment to third-party developers.
  • There would have to be more Teslas on the road, however, before such a plan would be feasible.
  • Additional Tesla infotainment features could include an in-dash marketplace, which could give the brand desperately needed additional revenue.

Last week, Elon Musk sat down with Ride The Lightning podcast. During the discussion, Tesla’s co-founder and CEO revealed that the brand’s forthcoming pickup truck will be a better truck than a Ford F-150 and at the same time a superior sports car to the Porsche 911 – just let that sink in. During that same hour-long sit-down, Musk made some more, albeit less audacious claims for the future of Tesla. Musk divulged that Tesla could make available its in-car infotainment systems to outside developers. That is, once more Teslas are on the streets.

“As our number of vehicles grow, it starts to potentially makes more sense to develop games and other applications for Tesla. We just need a lot of cars,” Musk said. He added that there would need to be “enough of an install base to warrant the effort” of allowing developers access to Tesla’s infotainment for app creation.

Mercedes-Benz In-Car Gaming Challenge seeks revolutionary ideas for in-car entertainment. | Photo: Mercedes-Benz

 

It’s not like Tesla isn’t doing enough development work on its own, however. Models S, X, and 3 offer Tesla’s own music, audio books and podcast streaming services in addition to its unique navigation software. What’s more, games like Centipede, Missile Command, Asteroids, Lunar Lander, and more are all available on those Tesla Models as well.

How much more could Tesla offer its owners than games and podcast streaming? Likely, the brand is interested in cross-brand integrations (and subsequent additional sources of revenue) like that of General Motors and Domino’s, which recently teamed up to allow owners to order pizzas from their dashboard.

Speaking of games, Mercedes-Benz recently launched an ‘In-Car Gaming Challenge.” It asks students, startups, and game designers to create games for its MBUX infotainment system. This makes sense, of course, when you consider that in 20 or so years that carmakers are going to have to find clever ways to entertain their customers while the cars drive themselves.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

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