It seems that Tesla cars will be able to converse with humans soon, according to CEO Elon Musk in a recent tweet. However, don’t put your hopes up for a revolutionary Tesla AI system just yet.
Musk writes “Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real.” in his Twitter account on 12 January. Along with the tweet is a short video clip showcasing a Model 3 speaking to the person holding the camera saying “Well don’t just stand there staring. Hop in.”
Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real. pic.twitter.com/8AJdERX5qa
— Elon Musk, the 2nd (@elonmusk) January 12, 2020
Tesla has begun installing external speakers to its cars as a response to safety regulations that require electric cars to produce artificial noise. Given how silent electric cars can be, the speakers function as a safety precaution that alerts pedestrians to the car’s presence when it’s on the move. It appears that the speakers will also be used for this newly-announced functionality, which allows the car to “speak” to pedestrians.
As shown in the video, this new function seemingly let drivers program audio clips to their Teslas which can be activated for situations such as picking up a passenger and so on. Basically, think of it as a fancier car horn but with words spoken in a British accent or whatever the Tesla owner fancies. Musk jokingly says that owners could even have their car “fart” in a general direction if they wish.
The Tesla CEO promised that the talking-car feature will be made available soon, but did not specify an exact date. He also added that the new function will also be compatible with Tesla’s sentry mode which uses the internal sound system instead.