Tesla Might Launch Platform for Official Third-Party Apps

Tesla's center touchscreen is perfect for fun and soon may have more apps.
Jessica Miley

Tesla’s massive center console screen is the perfect platform for interactive infotainment.

Elon Musk has made no secret of his love for video games designed for the car's internal system and has now hinted that a Tesla app store could be coming soon.

Appearing on the Ride The Lightning podcast, the CEO said he has considered opening a platform for official third-party applications but it would need to wait until the Tesla fleet was a bit bigger.


“In order for it to be worthwhile for somebody to write an app, there has to be enough of an install base to warrant the effort. Even if you are going to port something, it’s still got to be worth the effort. As our number of vehicles grow, it starts to potentially makes more sense to develop games and other applications for Tesla. We just need a lot of cars,” he said during his podcast appearance. 

As fleet grows, so does developer opportunities

There are roughly 500,000 Tesla vehicles on the road globally and the electric carmaker has plans to increase production so that about half a million new cars are produced annually.

Musk also mentioned the need for a ‘consistent platform’ which likely refers to the fact that Tesla’s most popular car, the Model 3 has a landscape display while Model S and Model X have a vertical display.

Tesla said that future iterations of the Model S and X will have a landscape center display like the Model 3. Musk hinted that until the hardware is more similar and all of them run Linux on Intel chips, no serious moves will be made towards the platform.

There have long been rumors that Tesla would release a software development kit (SDK) that would allow software developers to create full third-party apps for Tesla cars touchscreens, but that is yet to eventuate.

Tesla paves own way with huge centre screen 

Another option would be for Tesla to use something like Apple’s CarPlay, that mirrors apps available on a driver's phone on the car's screen. However, this is unlikely to satisfy Tesla drivers considering just how good the internal system is.

Musk has pushed for a bunch of fun games to be available and reports indicate that more will follow.

In the podcast, Musk said his game team was currently working on making Cuphead, a ludicrously difficult indie game, available on the Tesla ecosystem.

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