Tesla is working on integrating vehicle sharing into its app, which could be a step further toward the long-awaited “Tesla Network” launch.
CEO Elon Musk said that one of the core goals of the design of the Model 3 (and Model Y later) was to build the electric car around self-driving and car-sharing/ride-sharing capability.
Things like the center display, the cabin-facing camera, and using your phone as a key were meant to facilitate launching those capabilities in the future.
For years now, Tesla has been talking about launching the “Tesla Network,” an Uber-like ride-hailing app that also enables you to share your car with friends and family.
The real value of the Tesla Network would come with Tesla releasing the promised version of its Full Self-Driving package, but there have been delays on that front.
The system has been in early beta for over a year now, and there’s no sign of Tesla trying to get it approved as an actual commercial full self-driving system any time soon.
But Musk said that Tesla could still release the Tesla Network without self-driving, and we are seeing some of the first signs of integration in the app.
Today, Tesla released a new version of its mobile app, and while it doesn’t include new release notes with updated features, some internet sleuths managed to find updates to the app’s code.
One of them found that Tesla added several bits about vehicle sharing:
Last year, Tesla did enable owners to “add drivers” through a new “car access” feature on its website.
Now it looks like Tesla is integrating it into its mobile app, which is a more involved part of the Tesla ownership experience than the Tesla account on its website.
The ability to share vehicles through the app is also coming as Elon Musk said that Tesla driver profiles are being moved to the cloud so that you can easily get your preferred settings on a new car.
The car access feature is very useful for people who own several Tesla vehicles. I’ve been using it for a while since I have three Teslas in different places, and when I’m not driving a car, I let friends and family have them.
They are able to use them just like it was their own through the app without having to share my Tesla account.
Now having the capability in the app is going to make it easy to add drivers (up to five) on the go.
Again, this is also a capability that Tesla has talked about for Tesla Network, but when a full version of that will launch is still anyone’s guess.
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