Tesla Rebuilt Its Music Player; Expect More Music Services in 2023

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla's rebuilding its music player
Tesla's rebuilding its music player
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has now reportedly rebuilt parts of their in-car audio player using HTML, Javascript and CSS, but what exactly does that mean? Could this change mean more music streaming services coming down the pipeline? If so, we may see Amazon Music, Pandora, and other audio streaming services added to Tesla’s vehicles in an upcoming software update.

Tesla launched Apple Music integration in their vehicles with the 2022 holiday update and according to Tesla hacker Greentheonly, parts of the music player have been rebuilt using web technologies.

Apple Music appears to be the only music service utilizing the new player at this moment, but it appears that Tesla is transitioning Spotify to their web-based player as well. The HTML-based audio player interface is almost identical to the native audio player in terms of design and behavior except for some small design changes.

While Apple Music is the only audio service leveraging Chromium for its interface, we believe Tesla will move all their music services to leverage this new player.

Why Use a HTML Player?

So the question is why move to an HTML-based player when Tesla already has a working audio player and there are downsides to web-based apps, such as reduced performance?

The answer is development time and ease of updating. While web apps aren't a good choice for intensive tasks, a simple audio player could be.

Developing web software is usually much quicker and easier when compared to developing in a native language such as C or C++. The user interface is quicker to build and changes can also be implemented faster.

Since most streaming services like YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, SiriusXM and many others already offer web-based players, adapting these to work in Tesla's web player is a much easier process than porting the music service to work in another language. The APIs, streaming protocols and all the details needed are already available in these web apps and Tesla just needs to adapt the application to work with their user interface.

Web applications also have the advantage of downloading new data when a user connects, so it’s much easier to roll out new features, updates and bug fixes. A web-based solution doesn’t require the end user to download a software update either, so Tesla can fix any issues on the fly.

Video Streaming

When Tesla rolled out their video streaming services in Tesla Theater, they took the web route and loaded the streaming service’s website in a Chromeless browser, creating almost zero development for the Tesla team. They leveraged what each streaming service already provides on the web and made it available in the car.

For audio, it's a similar concept, except Tesla wants to provide a consistent user interface regardless if you're listening to TuneIn, SiriusXM or Spotify. To do this Tesla still needs an additional layer that connects the audio controls to their UI, but the effort required is greatly reduced.

This change to leveraging the vehicle's browser to render more parts of the Tesla interface could be the reason why we've seen so many performance improvements to Tesla's Chromium-based browser.

New Music Services

With this upgrade and transition already taking place, I'd be surprised if we didn't start to see the addition of many music streaming services integrated with Tesla’s vehicles in the near future.

This could mean that we may see additional music services such as YouTube Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, and even a streaming version of SiriusXM in the near future.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

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