The new tech could allow employees to attend work meetings from the comfort of their own cars.
Tesla's EVs could soon offer a novel new feature that allows occupants to video conference straight from the cabin, using only embedded technology that's already present in the car.
That revelation comes straight from company CEO Elon Musk, who recently fielded a question on Twitter about the prospect of using the cabin-facing cameras installed in all Tesla Model 3 sedans for video conferencing. The executive responded that video conference will "definitely" be a feature sometime in the future, although he declined to comment on when said feature would be rolled out.
But video conferencing will be just one use of the cabin camera, which is positioned just above the Model 3's rearview mirror. One of its more integral functions will be monitoring occupants as Tesla eventually rolls out a "robotaxi" service using autonomy-enabled customer cars to ferry people around, to help prevent vehicle vandalism, and we suspect it might also be used to monitor drivers for alertness whenever Autopilot is enabled.
More trivially, the camera could also be used to record occupants as they take advantage of the "caraoke" in-car karaoke rolled out with Tesla's version 10 software last fall.
There are still plenty of unanswered questions relating to Tesla's plan to use the Model 3's cabin-facing camera for video conferencing, like whether or not the feature will only be available while the vehicle is operating in Autopilot mode, and how - or if - the vehicle will ensure driver alertness while video conferencing is active. For an automaker that's already faced a good deal of criticism relating to the safety implications of its high-tech features, the answers to those questions could be critical.
At the same time, the prospect of allowing employees to remotely attend work meetings while in-transit, or place video calls with friends and families on the road, is an intriguing one. Look for video conferencing to roll out across the Tesla Model 3 fleet in the not-too-distant future.