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Tesla CEO Says Model S Will Support Third-Party Apps 103

thecarchik writes "The electric-car maker's CEO said at a conference today in San Francisco that the much-hyped Model S electric sedan will support third-party apps and text-to-voice capabilities. With its large 17-inch touchscreen console, car fans and investors have long suspected that third-party apps might be part of the Model S plan, but Wednesday's announcement was the first acknowledgement from Musk that the company is courting a developer community."
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Tesla CEO Says Model S Will Support Third-Party Apps

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  • And... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by systematical ( 1394991 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @12:02AM (#35526044) Homepage
    computer car viruses were born.
  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @12:07AM (#35526080) Homepage Journal
    Why are they coming up with their own operating system and app ecosystem, is this really the core competency of a car company? Why aren't they using Android, which already has text to voice, voice to text, GPS navigation, and almost everything else you might need in a car?
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @12:26AM (#35526178)
    I agree with your assertion that developing their own app ecosystem is the wrong approach, but I disagree with your conclusion. In my mind, trying to transform an electric car into basically a smart phone on wheels is a horrible idea, and their approach (much like your "use Android" solution) is simply wrong-headed.

    At this stage, the aim of electric cars should be proving that they are a viable alternative to gasoline-powered cars, at least following the 80/20 rule. Getting sidetracked by bells and whistles now is counterproductive. Tesla should be concentrating on making a car that's capable of serving at least 80% of the needs a standard sedan meets (short trips, daily commutes, cruise control, capable of seating 5, etc) while costing at best a small premium over gasoline-powered competitors. Encouraging the development of apps that will draw power and reduce the range or carrying capacity of the vehicle is silly.

    At this point, consumers interested in electric cars, outside of the rich folks who are looking to buy Tesla's roadster model, only really want to know that an electric car can handle their daily needs without running out of juice and that it won't cost a fortune. Giving it the ability to play Angry Birds is simply a distraction.
  • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @12:53AM (#35526322)

    They are working on the car, this is a side thing that will bring in things from the outside. You can't work on the car but you could add cool things to it and contribute to it in that way. It also means they may have some great new ideas that SELL the car to people who are less interested in going green. If they get a community going around this aspect they can free up resources.... like if the linux people take over the system and save MS taxes so later the smaller car can be cheaper.

    Its not just about batteries - which they don't do - its about getting an affordable CAR that people can buy and actually drive. It has to be expensive, so they went with the high end sports car and now they've worked down to the expensive car next they can work down to a mid-level car. Its harder to get the cheap affordable car so their approach to appeal to the top and work down is a WISE MOVE and helps dispel the myths of electric that have been around for so long. The sports car did a great job showing all that PR was lies- the problem is range but they don't have to be weak ugly little cars like the stereotype. This is just a step towards an electric we can all afford (pending battery tech which isn't really their thing.)

    The average American need more than just a smart electric car like the Aptera - sure they don't ACTUALLY need more most of the time but the problem is that they don't believe that.

  • put it on blocks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dltaylor ( 7510 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @05:19AM (#35527402)

    Although my wife's Jaguar has a touchscreen, it is surrounded by controls for the most commonly used features (knob for audio volume, buttons for source select and program advance/rewind, touch-identifiable for temp/fan/defrost climate controls). Only infrequently used controls and the nav system need the touchscreen, and the nav system is never used (despite buying a map update) except by out-of-town visitors, and they get voice directions once I program the destination in the driveway. The most-used control on the touchscreen is the one that sets the display to the Jaguar logo, since it defaults to the main menu unless you had one of the other subsystems up when the car was shut down.

    The electro-stoners that are busy running through the menus on their no-knob stereos and touch screen systems are as bad as any substance abusers. Confiscate their wheels and put their cars on blocks, so they can play in their living rooms without menacing the rest of us.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern