The Future Is Here! A Toast to Tesla In the New Year

Well, it's official. The year is 2020. And that means we are actually living in The Future. Frankly I wasn't sure we'd make it, but here we are. And things are pretty sweet. All of the fabulous things that technology magazines were predicting in the 50's are finally here. Well, some of them. If you are driving a Tesla.

I don't know why 2020 marks the beginning of The Future, but it seems like it does. It's such a tidy number — unlike some numbers (2019, I am looking at you). It's also an optimistic number — perfect eyesight and so on. Anyway — I am confident that it's going to be a good year, and a good decade. Especially if you are driving a Tesla.

To clarify: I don't own a Tesla. I have enough anxieties already, and I don't need another one (range anxiety, that is). And the thing about anxieties is that whether they are founded or unfounded, they persist as real anxieties. So, for that reason, I don't own a Tesla.

But for you adventurous types, I have good news. Your Tesla experience is going to be infinitely sweetened with more infotainment apps. Mr. Musk believes that there just aren't enough streaming options in your motoring life, so he is bringing more. Tesla's Premium Connectivity package already offers content like YouTube and Netflix, but according to Mr. Musk, more is “coming soon.” Much more. Look for premium content like HBO Go, HBO Now, Comedy Central, Disney+, and for the kinds, gaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer. As in the past, these features will most likely be delivered via an over-the-air software update. And I'm sure this content is just the beginning.

“When full self-driving is approved by regulators, we will enable video while moving.” —Elon Musk

Yes, Tesla Theater (in the V10.0 update) is currently only available when the car is parked, and connected to Wi-Fi. Good for passing the time and alleviating the boredom while charging (something airlines figured out a long time ago). But that's not The Future. As Mr. Musk tweeted in July, “When full self-driving is approved by regulators, we will enable video while moving.”

What? Is this trepidation I see in your eyes? You are unsure about the whole EV and autonomous thing? Oh, don't worry! When the government mandates that all vehicles must be EV and must be self-driving (thus ending all pollution and accidents) your life in The Future will be wonderful.

Think of how much joy these apps will spark in your life. You buckle in, tell the car where you want to go, it confidently and unerringly starts off on your journey, as you settle in for some viewing pleasure. Mile after mile, hour after hour — who would want to go for a short drive when every drive could be a cross-country, binge-watching marathon?

And in the worst case, if your range anxieties turn out to be founded, and you find yourself and your Tesla stranded on the side of the road (maybe too enthralled by the movie to notice the flashing red light), you'll have a plethora of apps to keep you occupied while you wait for help. Hmm, but if your battery is well and truly toast, I guess the car's infotainment would be defunct too. You're just sitting there, waiting, staring at a blank screen. The horror.

Now I'm feeling depressed. Maybe the future won't be so rosy. Maybe 2020 won't be such a good year. Actually, now that I think about it, 2019 wasn't so bad. And there's something else bothering me. Look at that magazine cover again. Are people in The Future really, really tiny, or is that car friggin' 40-feet long? The Future is making me anxious.

drny's picture

Ken, CarandDriver mag has the brand new affordable TESLA model 3 for a long term test.
They did not have to worry about running of 'juice'. One morning the car simply would not start, even though fully charge. Some minor issue caused the need to replace the entire rear electric motor assembly.
And it only took one week for the shop to complete the repair.
Amazing progress! NOT. The data is in already, analog cars 1980's to early 2000's will last 15-20 without major mechanical repairs. The more digitized the modern era vehicles become their shorter their life span.
It's the iPhone syndrome on steroids. No on electric juice, but be happy you'll have continued updates with more apps to play with.