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5 Ways Tesla Is Transforming the Auto Industry

No matter what you think of Tesla, it’s difficult not to admire what the start-up electric-vehicle maker has accomplished since the Model S was released in June 2012. In that short time, established and competitor car companies have had to take Tesla seriously as it’s racked up a string of awards and successes and grabbed a surprising amount of market share in the luxury category. And as Tesla prepares to launch a less expensive model, mainstream brands will also feel threatened.

An automotive analyst recently cited five ways in which Tesla is pushing technological change in the automotive industry. And while I don’t agree with his list (since only two of the five ways are not exclusive to Tesla), I concur with his premise that Tesla is forcing other automakers to reexamine how in-car tech is being implemented.

Home of the Model S
Charge Me Up, Scotty
The Roadster Less Traveled
Climb Aboard
Star Tour
Hitting the Road
Really Big Screen

But I’d take it even further and say that Tesla is also transforming the car driving, ownership, and buying experience. So I came up with my own list (that starts with the two I agree on with the analyst):

1. Large center-dash touch-screen display: Even though the Model S has been out for almost two years, no other automaker offers the extra-large in-dash touch screen that’s become a Tesla trademark. While it can be debated that the screen is too large, too bright, and too distracting, the appeal of such a large interface is undeniable. And it’s bound to be copied: We’ve already seen the idea of a vertical rather than horizontal main in-dash touch screen copied by Volvo for its upcoming infotainment interface.

2. Over-the-air software updates


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