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Tesla redefines car infotainment system

Posted: 20 Apr 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Tesla  infotainment  supply chain  IHS  Nvidia 

A number of automotive companies have made headlines with their respective versions of electric cars. Although the intended novelty of these automobiles has worn off quite a bit, Tesla has made sure to stick its guns out for a whole-new target board.

A $69,900 plus price tag is a lot to pay for a car, but Tesla tries to give a lot in return. For those seeking a viable all-electric alternative, the Tesla Model S with an 85kWh battery offers over 220 miles of emissions-free driving after a charge. As a top-tier luxury sports car sedan, its sleek design befits that of a Jaguar or Aston Martin. Performance car enthusiasts appreciate the burst of all-electric power that almost silently catapults you from a standstill to 60mph in less than six seconds, while the electronically assisted steering allows you to command the machine when taking it up past the 100mph mark.

Tesla Model S

But the one standout feature that carmakers are paying close attention to is Tesla's voice-controlled infotainment system, the focal point of which is a very large and beautiful 17in display in the middle of the dashboard. More like a smartphone and tablet interface when compared to even the most high-end car infotainment alternatives, Tesla's system also represents an opportunity for carmakers that seek to offer a similar infotainment experience, but for a more affordable BOM.

Tesla Model S infotainment system

"Automakers are not necessarily copying Tesla, but the Model S represents a disruption," said Mark C. Boyadjis, an analyst for IHS Automotive.

Tesla's design approach for its infotainment system as well as for the overall design of the car was more like that of a Silicon Valley company start-up compared to a traditional car maker. Instead of relying on traditional tier-1 suppliers to design and make the Model S' infotainment system, Tesla did much of the design work itself, like Apple does for its iPhone, while outsourcing the production to contract manufacturing firms.

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