In a recent announcement, Elon Musk has stated that Tesla’s electric cars will soon be able to support video playback while they are on Park and connected to a WiFi network. This feature will take advantage of a planned upgrade to the Supercharger Network, which will give free WiFi to Tesla owners recharging their vehicles.
Using the Supercharger Network as WiFi hotspots is a pretty strategic move for Tesla, particularly as it will make visits to the charging stations much more enjoyable for electric car owners. Supercharger stops have already gotten more convenient over time with the addition of features like TeslAtari and the rollout of the faster Supercharger V3. With in-car video playback capabilities, wait times in Superchargers will most definitely be even better.
In-car video playback and streaming will truly shine for electric car owners who are conducting long road trips. When traveling great distances, both drivers and passengers are best advised to take brief rests to combat fatigue. During these breaks, passengers of Tesla’s vehicles will appreciate the capability to access and watch their favorite content online while preparing for the next leg of their trip. This is something that travelers already do today, though video streaming is usually done using mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, both of which have smaller displays than Tesla’s electric cars.
A key statement in Elon Musk’s Twitter post is his emphasis on all Superchargers having free WiFi over time. This is a notable statement since the Supercharger Network has over 12,000 stations (and growing) across the globe today. For Tesla to provide free WiFi to every station, the electric car maker must ensure that it can secure internet coverage in any location worldwide. Fortunately for Tesla owners, Elon Musk’s private space firm, SpaceX, is already making headway into such a project, dubbed Starlink.
SpaceX’s Starlink is a satellite constellation aimed at providing low-cost, high-speed internet connection to anywhere across the globe. SpaceX has been making some headway with the constellation’s deployment, announcing earlier last month that new Starlink satellites will launch from Florida this Spring using the company’s tried-and-tested Falcon 9 rocket. With such upcoming milestones, it might not be too long before SpaceX starts conducting dedicated Starlink launches in the near future.
Elon Musk has not posted the date for the rollout of Tesla’s in-car video playback capabilities, though last August, the CEO responded positively to a request from a Model 3 owner who asked if video streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube will be supported in the future. In his reply, Musk wrote two words: “Version 10.”