Tesla released its latest software update and it includes “Tesla Theater,” a new feature that will allow owners to watch streaming entertainment on the dash display.
The company said that Model S, Model X, and Model 3 center displays can now connect to and watch Netflix, YouTube and Hulu or Hulu with Live TV accounts, allowing Tesla owners to watch content in the car (but only while parked).
The added feature, which is part of Tesla software version 10.0, was first announced by CEO Elon Musk in July, although he didn’t mention Hulu at the time.
Ability to stream YouTube & Netflix when car is stopped coming to your Tesla soon! Has an amazingly immersive, cinematic feel due to the comfy seats & surround sound audio.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 27, 2019
The idea of watching videos in the car is not new and in-vehicle entertainment systems have been commonplace for years now. But having access to subscription streaming services built in to a vehicle’s display is still novel.
In 2017, premium channel Epix launched a streaming app for the 2018 Honda Odyssey. And more recently, media companies and automakers have been working together to build immersive entertainment applications that take advantage of 5G networks and autonomous vehicles.
At CES earlier this year, Intel and Warner Bros. rolled out a BMW X5 concept car outfitted with a large screen TV, projectors, sensory and haptic feedback, and immersive audio and lights. The test car was being used to show off a Batman-themed virtual ride moderated by Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Intel predicts self-driving vehicles could free up more than 250 million hours of commuting time per year in the world’s most congested cities, and that newly free time could result in a $200 billion market opportunity stemming from consumer use of new in-vehicle applications and content.