Tesla’s Software Lead Keeps Widening As German Automakers’ Combined Efforts To Develop In-Car OS Continues


Tesla’s operating system for its vehicles has continued to improve and has progressed significantly within the last year alone. While Tesla dives deeper into self-driving technology, German automakers still struggle to develop operating systems for their next-gen vehicles.  

The crowning jewel of Tesla’s software would be Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD). Tesla has made plenty of progress with Autopilot within the last year and maybe close to releasing feature-complete FSD. The EV automaker continues to strive towards autonomy, recently releasing an OTA update giving Autopilot the capability to correctly respond to STOP signs, traffic cones and lights, as well as crosswalks

Meanwhile, it appears Tesla’s predecessors are still struggling to develop their own operating system. According to a German media outlet, Daimler talked with BMW and VW about a possible collaboration to make a common operating system for their vehicles. It is unknown if Daimler ever struck a deal with either BMW or VW, but it was apparent that the European automakers were leagues behind Tesla in developing an OS for their future cars.  

Even without Autopilot, Tesla’s operating system is quite impressive and maybe one of the features that differentiate the EV automaker from traditional OEMs. In terms of software, legacy automakers have yet to make significant strides. While driver-assist programs, like cruise control, have improved over the decades, few—and some may argue zero—OEMs have tried to bring the traditional car’s OS into the 21st century. 

Tesla has been able to develop software for its all-electric vehicles that the modern “tech-savvy” person has grown accustomed to, thanks to smartphones, TVs, and other gadgets or electronics. Evidence of Tesla’s modern take on the traditional vehicle doesn’t just lie in its all-electric build and Autopilot feature. Tesla’s infotainment system also distinguishes the company’s vehicles from those made by traditional OEMs. 

Below are some of the features, apps, etc. found in Tesla’s infotainment system: 

  • Tesla Arcade - includes Cuphead, Fallout Shelter, and more.
  • Tesla Theater - includes Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Twitch, and more. 
  • Music and Audio Platforms - includes Spotify, Karaoke, and more.
  • “I’m Feeling Lucky” & “I’m Feeling Hungry” - Navigation features for drivers feeling adventurous. This feature will lead drivers to nearby destinations or restaurants.

As technology progresses and continues to integrate into people’s everyday lives, software will be an increasingly lucrative business--even more so than today. Because of this, many analysts and investors believe Tesla can thrive in the future, not only as an EV automaker but as a tech company as well. 

Featured Image Credit: teslafreesupercharger/Instagaram

About the Author

Ma. Claribelle Deveza

Ma. Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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