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Tesla Model S shifts into app gear with third-party software

As if electric cars aren't futuristic enough, Tesla has announced the Tesla Model S will run smart phone-style apps.


As if electric cars aren't futuristic enough, Tesla has announced the Tesla Model S will run apps. The forthcoming eco-friendly saloon will run third-party software just like the apps on your smart phone or tablet, allowing you to customise your driving experience as you pootle about in your sci-fi greenmobile.

Tesla boss Elon Musk revealed that the car would support third-party software during green technology conference Cleantech in San Francisco. How the apps work would depend on whether they're used by the driver or passenger, and whether or not they'd be distracting. Ford is working on voice-control apps, while other apps could even take over the controls if the car realises the driver is an idiot.

The four-door Tesla S sports a giant 17-inch touchscreen, making it ideal for software that adds to the driving experience. Depending on what app developers come up with, the S could be the most high-tech driving experience ever.

Obvious apps that would keep you on the road include sat-nav and traffic news. Passengers could be entertained by games and videos, as long as they didn't distract the driver. Here's our pick of the best Android apps for your car -- the Google Maps app would be useful to anyone with an electrojuiced jam-jar, as it now pinpoints charging stations for electric vehicles.

Developers have plenty of time to think about their apps, as the Tesla S won't hit the road until 2012. It's likely to cost at least £40,000, depending on eligibility for government green subsidies.

What apps would you like in your car? Park your thoughts in the comments, on our Facebook wall, or @cnetuk on Twitter.