How Tesla Is Going Against Traffic -- Again

One trend you should be aware of as an investor is that of the "connected car". Your vehicle can connect with the outside world through a dedicated modem, or -- increasingly these days -- through your smartphone.

At the recent Connected Car Conference in New York City, Roger Lanctot of Strategy Analytics spoke about the role of smartphones and modems in the vehicle: Besides entertainment, they can help sell cars, route motorists, and facilitate commerce through various payment options for tolls, parking, etc. If done properly, a connected car even can save lives and make driving safer.

Ford (NYSE: F  ) , General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , and most other automakers are heavily embracing the shift toward smartphones as the conduit to the outside world. But Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) has a different approach to this technology. As Lanctot explains to Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore in the video below, this is one area, at least, where Tesla is not at the forefront of a new user experience.

One market with a vast number of new and potential users of connected cars is China, already the world's largest auto market -- and it's set to grow even bigger in coming years. A recent Motley Fool report, "2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market", names two global giants poised to reap big gains that could drive big rewards for investors. You can read this report right now for free -- just click here for instant access.


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  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2013, at 11:50 AM, Grumpycat wrote:

    "Besides entertainment, they can help sell cars, route motorists, and facilitate commerce through various payment options for tolls, parking, etc."

    So we are now going from the distraction of talking on cell phones to buying cars, doing e-commerce, checking stocks, etc. on a 'touch' computer screen in the dash?

    This is supposed to make driving SAFER?

    Have you lost your mind?

    One split second of not paying attention while driving can end your or someone else's life.

    Take it from somebody that has been in a collision on an interstate highway with both cares totalled, because the girl in the other vehicle was on her cell phone at the time, changed lanes and ran right into me.

  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2013, at 11:58 AM, Golftoday wrote:

    I will try to say this respectfully: the basic premise of this article is wrong. Tesla plans to provide tethering for smartphones connecting them to the Model S. Elon Musk tweeted about that:

    "Tesla software knits together Google Voice, Slacker, Gracenote & others and streams over 3G (will be LTE later)" and "Over the air upgrade coming in a few months to allow tethering (and other things)."

    How is that putting them in the wrong direction? Do you think that GM and Ford will offer that before Tesla updates their Model S?

  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2013, at 3:00 PM, hunter3203 wrote:

    People often forget how new a company that Tesla is. The Model S is the first car that they actually developed. Their previous Roadster model was a Lotus that was shipped to the US without a powertrain. As a result, they haven't been investing in many of the technologies that other automakers have been working on for years. The new Mercedes S class includes autonomous driving at slow speeds for instance. That's a technology that all of the automakers are working on. Tesla will have the opportunity to source that technology from a supplier like Continental for instance.

  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2013, at 9:14 PM, Oseo wrote:

    Tesla's electronic interface is something to behold. They have an LCD screen the size of a large laptop computer built into every car. It's literally striking. The level of functionality the screen encompasses is too vast to practically explain. Among other vehicles, I own a Ford, which requires me to have a working phone, set as preferred in their website, in order for the navigation to work. If your phone runs out of batteries, or you change phones, you are SOL. That led to an interesting night of driving for me. Out of good taste, forget about criticising other brands' interface. If you want to know how amazing a Tesla car is, go check one out...

    psst, the day Tesla opened it's doors in Hong Kong, China, it's sales figures surpassed all the other electric vehicles on the street combined - the first day! Any questions? I don't work for Tesla.

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