July 23rd, 2020 by Kyle Field
Last year, we opined that Tesla would inevitably launch an app store to give owners something to do when their vehicles were finally capable of driving themselves around and today on the Q2 2020 Tesla earnings call, it was confirmed. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CFO Zachary Kirkhorn opened up about the possibility of monetizing some of the lower hanging fruit in the software world via an app store, “or whatever.”
As of right now, Tesla is building out the framework for a Tesla app store, or at least a marketplace for vehicle owners or passengers to purchase digital content for (and in) their vehicles. The concept is not only relevant to today’s world, in which people own their own vehicles, but also in a not-so-distant future in which vehicles drive themselves around as robotaxis on the Tesla Network.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the movie you were watching in the morning on the way to work in a fully autonomous Tesla Taxi picked up right where it left off when you hop back into a completely different vehicle for the ride home? The concept is completely portable across Tesla’s products and off into the clean, renewable future Tesla is building.
To date, Tesla has continued to add new entertainment options to the vehicles, including a host of mainstream games, including 2048, Beach Buggy Racing, Stardew Valley, and Fallout Shelter. These are just the start of an inevitable wave of not just games, but applications and multimedia options for Tesla owners to purchase.
Business customers will be able to video chat with coworkers on the way to work or check email. It’s not just a matter of making more money, but it has the potential to take the task of driving to work, home, or elsewhere and turn it into a productive or relaxing time for owners. Giving humans around the world hours of their lives back to enjoy or to work is a massive advantage for Tesla owner or passengers.
Elon Musk emphasized on the conference call that, when cars do become full self driving, people will want entertainment and productivity options in the car. Via Tesla’s “app store or whatever,” as Elon said it, people want to play games and do work. “We’re already putting some games in place. Just for fun.”
What’s staggering is that nobody else in the automotive world is even remotely close to this. They don’t have the electric vehicles, the software chops, the fully autonomous driving, the massive screen, or over-the-air updates. It’s not that we’re huge fans of Tesla around here, it’s just hard to look at the current landscape of options out there and see anyone else competing with Tesla when it continues pushing the envelope in such game-changing ways over and over again. (Editor’s note: pun intended?)
Granted, much of the success of a Tesla App Store is contingent upon the Autopilot team delivering a fully functional Full Self Driving solution. That gives Tesla one more reason to get the final build of Full Self Driving finished and out to owners around the world. Elon Musk is bullish on that, as you can see in the link above.
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