Is Elon Musk hinting at an Android-like open-source platform for the auto industry?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted that the electric vehicle maker may open up some of its car operating system code to other automakers. “Just as Android has been helpful as a common standard for the mobile phone industry, we may do something similar by opening up more of our source code to help the car industry,” Musk said during a conversation with Ford CEO Jim Farley on Twitter Spaces (@JimFarley98 & @ElonMusk: Accelerating EV adoption). If Tesla does move forward with this, it’ll go head to head with Google and Apple, who’ve built their own car operating systems based on Android and iOS.
Musk made the comment in response to Farley saying that building a “software-updatable car” was wicked hard. “We’re happy to offer assistance on the software front,” Musk said.
Tesla and Ford reached an agreement today that’ll allow Ford electric vehicle owners to access Tesla’s Supercharger network in the US and Canada. More importantly, Ford agreed to build Tesla’s charging interface into their second-gen EVs, including an electric truck and a three-row SUV, starting in 2025.
Musk is known for floating ideas during live conversations, some of which come to life while others don’t. If Tesla does open up its over-the-air software update tech to other carmakers, it’ll directly take on Google and Apple.
Google offers the Android Automotive OS to automakers, a modified version of the open-source Android OS that runs on Linux. Last June, Apple announced the next CarPlay aims to power a car’s entire dashboard.
At the same time, Google and Apple offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which connect phones to infotainment systems. If Tesla joins the fray, the tech giants will face some serious competition in the auto software space. However, it remains to be seen how other automakers will respond to this move and whether it will truly rival the established systems offered by Google and Apple. The race to build the Android or iOS of the automotive industry is on!