On the heels of Tesla’s latest search-by-voice feature, CEO Elon Musk is considering an update that would extend onboard search capabilities to an owner’s Tesla mobile app. Having the ability to search vehicle-specific functions via a mobile app, instead of using Tesla’s native touchscreen or voice controls, isn’t a use-case that naturally comes to mind but there very well could be a good one.
As suggested by Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, there could be times when having access to search Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services directly from the back seat of the vehicle could come in handy. In a Tesla Model X, for instance, watching an in-car movie from the 2nd row provides a theater-like viewing experience, but without access to the vehicle’s touchscreen or steering wheel control for searching. “I was sitting in the middle row of my X and I wanted to change the youtube channel without opening the falcon door,” commented @teslaownersSV to Musk. To which Musk replied “Sure”, hinting at the possibility that a Tesla App feature to facilitate in-car search could become a reality.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 10, 2020
With the rollout of the V10 update in September last year, Tesla practically turned the touchscreen into a movie machine with the Tesla Theater feature.
A search feature on the mobile app will also be convenient when one is on Camp Mode. Those who will be spending extended periods of time in their vehicles will be able to maximize the entertainment system, say while on a queen-sized mattress in their Model S or X.
Ultimately, search on the mobile app might come useful when Teslas are cruising on the road as robotaxis in the future. Passengers can be given access to the in-car entertainment system via mobile app and be able to watch their favorite movies or TV series on Netflix or Disney+.
We can only expect Tesla to constantly push new features that enhance the capabilities of the vehicle and further improve user experience as we’ve seen in the Holiday Software Update that included a good amount of new voice commands and visualizations, both steps that take the carmaker closer to its Full Self-Driving dream.