Tesla is known for its impressive in-car entertainment system, centered on a touchscreen central console. However, the electric vehicle maker is about to get real competition from the online retail giant Amazon.
Amazon has a popular TV service known as Fire TV and is now eying an expansion into automobiles. The company has enjoyed a rapid increase in the number of Fire TV enabled televisions, known as Fire TV Edition, in the last one year.
According to Amazon VP Daniel Rausch, “We do see interest in the auto segment. Screens are coming to autos in greater numbers, and I’m very interested in being where customers want to be entertained, which is frankly just about everywhere, including on the go.
“It’s not just about streaming in the living room. 5G connectivity is going to transform that as well because you just get a high-quality connection anywhere you go in your car.”
Amazon does not produce automobiles, which is why it is teaming up with automakers. One of the first such partnerships is with Stellantis, which put Fire TV for Auto in the latest Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
Fire TV Auto-enabled vehicles can stream services on the rear screens for the benefit of the back-seat passengers. They can also access apps while being transported. There are touch controls and remote control for selecting the content they want. Front passengers can access Fire TV Auto when the car is parked.
Passengers can also use voice input, courtesy of Alexa.
Tesla offers streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, in addition to its own videos. You can also play music or a game, but since there are no back screens, the car must be parked before you can watch any videos or play games. It also offers Car-aoke, which you can guess involves singing along to the lyrics of classic songs.
Some Tesla owners tried to recreate the cinema dating experience during the pandemic by driving to secluded places and watching a movie or two.
With Amazon open to collaborating with multiple car makers, non-Tesla cars now have a solid option for in-car entertainment. It will be interesting to see the direction Amazon and its partners will take its Fire TV Auto.