Tesla cars are going Android
Tesla is often seen as the Apple of car makers so Elon Musk’s decision to update the current flagship Model S with a Google Chrome web browser and Android emulating OS could surprise some.
The company’s CEO made the announcement at a special Tesla event in Munich, Germany this week, but pointed out that the changes will not happen overnight.
So, from late next year Tesla customers will be able to access the internet in-car via Google’s Chrome, and the informatics platform will be fully Android-compatible — it currently runs a version of Linux that can support modified Android and iOS apps — meaning that it will be easy for developers to write Tesla-specific apps or to port existing Android apps to run on the car’s software systems.
As well as being the pure electric vehicle with the longest range on a single battery charge currently in production, the Tesla Model S also has the largest touchscreen interface of any road car.
The 17-inch system not only offers an online connection and access to the vehicle’s navigation system, but also replaces many of the analogue switches and dials — for features such as air conditioning — that litter most vehicle cabins.
However creating something that takes full advantage of a display more than twice the size of the average tablet could take some doing on the part of Android app developers — Apple CEO Tim Cook has described most tablet apps on Google Play as simply stretched smartphone apps.