Who needs a car remote control when you can just use your head? That’s what Tesla Motors Company (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are thinking anyways, as their new technology allows Tesla Model S and Google Glass owners to use both their toys together, and control certain features of their car right from their headset.
While the two companies’ newest venture may lure in significant sales success and excitement from fuel efficient, technologically advanced drivers, it also could draw significant criticism as it attempts to straddle the line between safety and efficiency.
Released Tuesday, a new free downloadable app called Glass Tesla was unofficially developed by Sasha Katta. According to Gigaom, the app is purposed for the Tesla Model S and comes with many interesting out-of-car and in-car features that allow users to assess the charging status of the car, locate the car on a map and remotely sound its alarm, lock/unlock the car and open the sun roof, and view the car’s interior and exterior temperatures while also being able to work autoclimate controls. It’s a significant step in the right direction towards having a “heads-up display” where drivers can access their speed, gear, and navigation without looking down at their dashboard; however, Glass Tesla will likely have to combat many naysayers first to prove to them that the technology improves safety, rather than threatens it.
And while the Glass Tesla’s features are undoubtedly convenient, they aren’t groundbreaking. But with the current speed that technology is evolving, who knows where the app will go next? That’s the question that will likely be on lawmakers and safety regulators’ minds as they assess how the new Glass app affects road safety.
The technology evidently has a lot to go up against. Lawmakers are only recently passing strict laws that ban the use of mobile devices while driving, and now Google and Tesla want to roll out a new app that will only promote the use of in-car technology? The Glass Tesla will not only raise eyebrows, but it will also raise questions about how laws are supposed to adapt to the new feature. In addition, many also argue that muddying the waters only equates to more temptation. Gigaom uses the example, “Once someone locates their Tesla, for example, they could unlock with Google Glass, hop in the car, enable auto-climate with the HUD and then turn on the car manually while moving to another app or taking a picture. Maps could be activated to give heads-up directions. Alerts could come in inviting the user to read texts. The user could elect to check email or any number of things.”
And if that’s not a parent or lawmaker’s nightmare, I don’t know what is. But luckily for them, the current form of Google Glass isn’t ready to support this new technology, as its screen is still almost unreadable and battery life also poses a problem. Nevertheless, Glass Tesla is coming, and though it is unclear when, it’ll probably drive into Google Glass stores all too soon.