Tesla may not be able to put video games in its cars, but one company has found a loophole.
Teslas are known for poor build quality, but few customers complain about a lack of connectivity features.
Still, for those who want more, the aftermarket is booming. People have figured out how to run Apple CarPlay in Teslas, and the company itself is still working on ways to integrate Steam into its models. Well, as soon as it figures out how to incorporate games without upsetting the NHTSA.
For now, the aftermarket is the answer if you're looking to give rear-seat passengers in your Tesla Model 3 or Model Y something to do besides sitting on their phones. To that end, one company has a solution, which adds a Tesla-like screen to the rear center console. On it, you can do anything from watching Netflix to playing games.
Obviously, Hansshow's unit isn't as large (or as high-resolution) as the Model 3's front screen. The 8-inch display offers 1280x720 px resolution and can support both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Unless you're going to further modify your Tesla, this is one of the easiest ways to get the popular phone mirroring software in a Tesla.
Because the screen plugs into your Tesla's OBD port, it also allows rear passengers to control some functions of the car. Both climate temperature and fan speeds can be adjusted via the display.
On top of that, you'll be able to adjust the rear seats from the display.
Because the tablet runs on an Android OS, you can install various apps on it.
That could include Netflix, but we doubt rear passengers would want to watch anything on a screen this size. You'd be better off using your phone in this instance. Still, sound can be played via the built-in speaker, through the car's Bluetooth, or via your own wireless headphones, which we could see helpful on longer trips with children.
However, the system is only compatible with newer 3 and Y models. Hansshow says that Model 3s built during and after the 2017 MY are compatible and that only 2020 and up Model Ys are compatible with the new screen.
We looked at the installation manual for the unit, and as the company promises, it appears to be relatively non-invasive.
You'll have to remove the rear air vent assembly to fit the unit, then start running the wiring. This will be the most tedious part, but it simply heads up the center tunnel to the OBD port it will live in. It should also make for an easy uninstall if you decide to sell the car.
The system runs on either an AMD or Intel chipset and can be optioned with either USB type A or type C ports, just like the ones Tesla fits from the factory. Thankfully, this doesn't affect pricing, which comes in at $699 before shipping.