The prolific Elon Musk, who heads Tesla Motors as CEO, among other things, has just revealed a few interesting tidbits that will tickle the fancy of software developers eyeing to get into the automobile scene. It won’t be long before they will be able to develop and run custom software, including Android apps, right on the Tesla Model S “smart” car’s dashboard.
Tesla’s electric Model S car features a 17-inch capacitive dashboard instead of simply a mix of physical and touch-based controls. And, as expected from such a hi-tech looking vehicle, the car’s dashboard is filled with features ranging from the normal car controls to multimedia to navigation to vehicle data, some of which could be accessed and controlled via Google Glass. Of course, it also has a web browser, which will soon be upgraded to Google Chrome in the near future, giving access to a wide range of extension to users.
The dashboard software is based on Linux and the cross-platform Qt application development framework, making it possible for software developers to easily create apps or port existing apps from Android, which is basically a modified Linux system, or even, at least according to Musk, iOS apps. But Tesla plans to take one step further and will be adding a full Android emulator right into the dashboard system. This means that should developers, and users, decide to do so, they can simply run their favorite Android apps inside a specialized window in the dashboard.
All these plans, however, will take some time and Tesla is only planning to open up the system for developers towards the end of 2014. The company will first prioritize on making the core system usable in markets around the world, with features such as support for multiple languages and local navigation.