Tesla Will Soon Let You Watch Videos on Infotainment Screen to Kill Time at Superchargers
Sure, it takes a bit longer than filling up at the pump, but at least you'll be able to binge an episode of Stranger Things.
In a tweet shared on Sunday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that owners will soon have access to enable video and audio playback when parked and collected to a wireless network. He also added that all Tesla Superchargers will broadcast free WiFi "over time."
One of the biggest complaints about electric cars revolves around charging times—especially when charging on the road, away from home. Now, electric automaker Tesla looks to ease the boredom while plugged in by enabling owners to watch their favorite videos on their large infotainment screens while at a Tesla Supercharger.
The WiFi limitation likely serves two purposes: first, is safety. By requiring a vehicle be connected to WiFi, it is assumed that the vehicle is stationary and in range of a wireless network. The caveat is someone using a hotspot to broadcast a wireless network, which is likely why Musk added that the vehicle must also be parked. The second purpose likely surrounds Tesla's "premium connectivity" suite, which enables vehicles to phone home to Tesla via a cellular radio embedded in the car. While this is useful for low-bandwidth telemetry data, streaming video sucks up a lot more data and could become increasingly expensive for Tesla to maintain without passing on the cost to owners.
This isn't the first time that Tesla has looked to occupy owners' time with in-car features. Just last year, Tesla announced that it would be releasing a line of classic Atari games (called TeslAtari) which could be played on the center display of its vehicles.
It's not presently clear how long owners might have to wait for their Superchargers to be equipped with WiFi. Musk states that the feature will be rolled out "over time", but does not specify when this project might begin. Tesla has also recently announced its newest fast-charging Supercharger v3 hardware that it will soon begin to deploy at new locations. The new stations are said to add up to 75 miles of charge in just five minutes, but isn't WiFi access isn't explicitly listed as being an included feature.
While a small creature comfort, the fact that Tesla will enable video with audio from its center display is something which might help to encourage users to be patient while waiting for a charge. Musk has previously told owners to expect native Netflix and YouTube apps in a future software update.