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Zoom video calls will soon be coming to your Tesla


12th Dec'22
Zoom video calls will soon be coming to your Tesla | OpenGrowth

Today, Zoom said that Tesla owners would receive a Zoom app for their vehicles, enabling them to make Zoom calls on the screen — naturally, while the car is parked. In a concept video, they depict someone making a call while charging their car. One might even be able to make calls while driving a self-driving car one day if Tesla makes the technological advances required to offer it. (Today, for a good reason, it is prohibited to play video in front of the driver of a moving vehicle.)

The program in question illustrates several unexpectedly incorrect principles.

You could do this already, on your phone


tesla car


Naturally, it's been possible to make a Zoom call while driving for a very long time, and chances are you've already used your phone to make a call with someone while they were driving. I can even install my phone on the steering wheel because it comes with support and a case. Obviously, the screen is small, but there is great eye contact. Although Zoom omits to mention it, Teslas only come equipped with a subpar interior monitoring camera in the rearview mirror, which will only provide a video image with a complete lack of eye contact.

With two important exceptions—screen size and antenna quality—the phone is the apparent winner for all apps, communications, and media, but this is where the fundamental problem lies. Although the equipment in a car may be more expensive, and Tesla is far better than other automakers at updating software in the cars, the truth is that the phone always wins because we get a new one every one to two years. No matter how advanced the hardware in a car is, if the phone doesn't already do it better, it will do it shortly.

This insight had to be extracted kicking and screaming from other automakers. People already have their phones set up for them, with a UI they are familiar with and with their music, communications, and other preferences set up. They never wanted a different, worse system in the car at a higher price, despite that's what automakers attempted to sell them. They want the phone to be in control and be able to use the car's speakers, sensors, screen, and buttons as peripherals. Though the initial iterations of these programs were actually fairly terrible, they nonetheless gave users what they genuinely wanted: the comfortable, superior world of their phone. This was the world of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.This conflict began with a navigational dispute. Automobile manufacturers offered $2,000 navigation packages, but consumers chose to use Waze instead.

This held true even though the in-car system benefited right away from having access to the improved GPS, odometer, and other car-specific antennas, as well as the large screen with buttons designed for use while driving. Although the hardware had benefits, the software was terrible.

Tesla, the computer company


tesla car


The automaker that thinks the most like a computer business is Tesla. They performed a wonderful job on their in-car computer as a result. They were good enough to believe they were shielded from the phone's unavoidable dominance. They are, therefore, one of the few automobiles that don't support Android or Carplay. Although their navigation isn't as good as Waze's, their user interface is extremely fantastic. Their web browser is just horrible. The fixed touchscreen monitor is very difficult to use in a moving car because of its inconsistent and confusing user interface.

Although Carplay and Android Auto are not perfect, the idea that the automobile should be a secondary device to the phone is the right one. You must grant it complete access to control in addition to the screen and speakers if you want to do that correctly. (For instance, while offering a crucial piece of advice, navigation systems must silence or "duck" the audio from the radio.)

However, the Tesla Models 3 and Y only have one screen, and it must function even without a phone. Giving complete control of the screen would require the phone to also show the speed and activate necessary functions like the defogger, which makes the situation more challenging. The Tesla may still reserve a portion of the screen (but give the phone all needed interfaces.) But when the car is stopped, and it's time to make Zoom calls, watch Netflix, or play games, it doesn't matter. Then, the phone is the winner if it can utilize that bigger screen.

Perhaps a couple of million Tesla vehicles were sold. However, there are a lot of Android and iPhones on the market. Applications will be created and supported for these platforms.

They fell into the trap that they could compete with the phone because Tesla is better at being a computer than other firms, but they can't.

Call while charging


tesla car


The driver in Zoom's illustration makes a video call while her car is charging. One of the most crucial things to comprehend about charging an electric car is that, despite taking longer than filling up with gas, if you can fit it in between other tasks you already have to complete, it will really take less time out of your day than stopping at a gas station. This is a crucial step in the effort to make electric vehicles (EVs) nearly incomparable to gasoline vehicles, which is required to put a stop to the use of fossil fuels in transportation.

While some people see quick charging in 5 minutes to match the 3-minute gas fill-up time, that will always be expensive and complicated because megawatts are needed.

The ideal things to do while charging is to sleep and eat, but until we have self-driving, accessing the internet and watching media are good substitutes. Nowadays, almost everyone spends a lot of time doing this, possibly more than they want to, and charging can be an appropriate time for it. A decent screen can be helpful, and many people might find a keyboard useful as well, but there is typically no ideal location to put one in cars.

Additionally, having fast WiFi available at charging stations makes sense. Since the CEO of Tesla has some sway over the CEO of SpaceX, Starlink may be able to help in isolated locations, giving Tesla a clear advantage.



Regarding Zoom calls in Tesla calls, there are still a lot of questions. It's unlikely that the feature will be accessible while driving, given Zoom's past remarks regarding safety. However, it's unclear if it would be limited to Wi-Fi or if Tesla's Premium Connectivity, which provides quicker internet for a monthly charge, will be necessary.

Zoom also unveiled some new non-automotive functions on Tuesday, most notably Zoom Mail and Calendar. With the addition of these beta-version apps, Zoom can now manage all of your projects and meetings in one place, much like Google Workspace. Some notable features include appointment booking, which makes it simpler for users to choose an available time for a Zoom conference, and end-to-end encryption when emails are sent between two Zoom Mail Service users.

Zoom Spots, a "virtual coworking area" for "free-form, video-first discussions," was also launched by the firm. The business stated that it would arrive in early 2023. 

Side note: Also, have you heard that Elon Musk says Tesla’s Humanoid Robot is an Important Product of the Year?

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A student in more ways than one. Trying to feed her curiosity with news, philosophy, and social commentary.