Tesla is in the news again this week, and this time it's not for the car that caught on fire. The company has partnered up with AT&T to take connectivity to the next level.
AT&T's SVP of emerging tech, Chris Penrose, announced at GigaOM Mobilize that AT&T services will be available in a Tesla. AT&T will be powering all two-way communications for the vehicle, along with access to the engine's diagnostics and tweaks, and all information and entertainment apps and features. The car will then also be able to actively monitor a driver's habits, speed and other driving information you'd usually only find on a small screen in a car.
On stage, he said,
We believe that our ability to bring total solutions into the space is something that is being demanded, and something that we can excel and differentiate. Not just being a connectivity partner.
For this to work, the Tesla will have to have a built-in modem installed, as well as an AT&T SIM card, which will allow the vehicle to connect to AT&T's towers. The connection will also allow the car to have access to real-time traffic data and the navigation system can adapt to the data and change routes on-the-fly. Active monitoring of the transmission, brake system, engine and more can all take place, letting the driver know the instant the car should be taken into the shop. The same software can also be used to track down the car if it's stolen. Obviously the possibilities are almost endless.
Tesla is already working with the Qi Wireless Power Consortium to wirelessly charge the vehicle and now, with the addition of AT&T, Teslas are now wirelessly connected to all the information in the world, literally. This is a great step for all types of communication in vehicles, though, not just for Tesla and AT&T. If this ends up working extremely well, we can probably see a Verizon Wireless partnership in the near future. Perhaps they'd like to power Ford cars that already come loaded with a feature-rich Sync by Microsoft system. But until that happens, I'll just be waiting for my phone call from Tesla extending an invitation for me to drive one of these cars.