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The Week in Tesla News: Netflix and Drive, Cameras to Capture Driver Preferences, Electric-Van Life

2018 Tesla Model X

This week, the Tesla news is all about what a Tesla can do for its driver. CEO Elon Musk said you’ll soon be able to binge-watch your favorite shows from the driver’s seat, and Tesla revealed in a patent application the futuristic purpose of the driver-facing camera in the Model 3. Finally, a camper van company released a concept for a Tesla-powered motorhome.

Related: Which Cars Have Self-Driving Features for 2019?

For more details, read on for our weekly Tesla news roundup.

Stream From the Driver’s Seat

2019 Tesla Model X

Elon Musk announced via Twitter this week that YouTube and Netflix are coming to Tesla in-car multimedia systems “soon.” Video streaming in your Tesla will have a “cinematic feel,” according to Musk, who said the comfortable seats and surround-sound audio will give a theaterlike experience to viewers. He also said you could be able to watch your favorite shows and movies as soon as August and no later than a few months from now.

As with Tesla Arcade in-car video games and the Sketchpad, which lets you draw on the center touchscreen, you’ll only be able to stream while your car is in Park — perhaps while you’re waiting for your car to charge. However, Musk said that in the future, you’ll be able to stream en route.

“When full self-driving is approved by regulators,” the CEO tweeted, “we will enable video while moving.”

In-Car Cameras Personalize Driver Experience

Tesla Patent Application Drawing

These days, a lot of people balk at the idea of being monitored by devices through their cameras, and many had the same feeling when Tesla announced back in 2017 that Model 3 sedans would come equipped with a driver-facing camera embedded above the rearview mirror. The cameras have remained dormant thus far, but now, two years later, we’re learning just what they’re meant to do.

According to Electrek, a Tesla patent application reveals that the purpose of these cameras is to monitor occupants’ body position to offer “dynamic personalization,” which will remember who you are and adjust the car according to your preferences. Musk hasn’t been shy about his plans to turn Model 3 sedans into fleets of self-driving robotaxis, which may eventually store occupant information so any self-driving Tesla can remember where you like to sit, how you position the mirrors and even your musical tastes.

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Tesla Semi-Home

Vanlifer Tesla Semi-Home Concept

Vanlifer, a company that designs luxury camper vans, released a concept this week for an all-electric motorhome based on the forthcoming Tesla Semi. Based on the renderings, Vanlifer’s Tesla Semi-Home would feature a full kitchen, living space, bathroom and other amenities, including a bed that sits above the driver’s seat.

The Tesla Semi-Home would, of course, fit onto the back of a Tesla Semi. Fully loaded, the Semi has a range of up to 500 miles, ideal for long-distance travelers. The expected base price for the 500-mile range semi is $180,000, which Vanlifer says “really isn’t much for a luxury, high-end motorhome” — but that price excludes the cost of the motorhome retrofit.

No matter the cost, don’t expect a Tesla Semi-Home until you see a Tesla Semi, whose launch date has been reportedly delayed to 2020.

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