Tesla's car operating system is still the best among EVs, Three reasons.

While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are improving, Tesla still has the upper hand when it comes to in-car technology.

Tesla's car operating system is still the best among EVs, Three reasons.
Image credit: Tesla

Tesla's operating system has evolved slowly over time, but it has remained ahead of the competition. While automobiles that incorporate Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto are becoming more common, the platforms are still used in conjunction with a proprietary car system in the majority of cases. In this situation, two is rarely better than one, and it frequently results in a functional disconnect.

The Android Automotive platform, for example, offers a version of Android to the automobile without requiring it to be powered by a phone. Even still, the system does not appear to be complete.

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It's hardly a terrible thing that electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S Plaid are as much about entertaining as they are about transportation.

That isn't to suggest Tesla's solution is flawless, but the combination of a single operating system for everything and some unique features makes it the greatest system I've ever used. Here are three things I believe it excels at over other in-car operating systems.

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The first thing that struck me about Tesla's navigation was how well it seemed to be tailored to driving an electric vehicle. You won't have to bother about where you'll charge because the travel planner incorporates Supercharger stops into longer journeys.

Private automobile navigation has begun to incorporate this, although owing to the wide range of charges available, it is not always as apparent as Tesla's. It also helps to have a single system that can access the car's diagnostics and battery level. This issue stems from a shortage of dependable third-party chargers, as well as Tesla's outstanding charger network. However, it currently makes the driver's life much easier.

Tesla offers a simple but useful feature that not everyone else does: the opportunity to add stops along the trip. I especially like the automatic navigation feature, which estimates your destination depending on the time and your position.

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Tesla offers something called Toybox in addition to outstanding video streaming and game arcade functionality.

Toybox is a set of functions that exist solely for the purpose of amusement. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to see buried in some code, yet on the Tesla OS, it's right there on the main menu for everyone to see.

In the Tesla Toybox for the Model 3, there are now ten functions listed. When the car is in Park, the Boombox uses the car's external speaker to broadcast your voice (through Megaphone), music from your system, or a variety of sound effects. You can set a light sequence to music and even dance by opening and closing various doors and windows with the Light Show.

The DJ tool, TRAX, which allows you to compose your own tunes, Sketchpad for basic painting on the touchscreen, and Romance, which provides a virtual hearth, are all noteworthy features.

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The main advantage of a single OS for the car is that everything can be controlled from one location. To be fair, most new EVs currently look to handle this very effectively, allowing you to control thermostat, charging, and car dynamics from the same screen as the entertainment, but if you use CarPlay or Android Auto, you're still utilizing separate systems.

As previously stated, the Android Automotive system utilized in the Polestar, Volvo, and Hummer EVs is an exception. This system has the most potential to knock Tesla off its perch, but the number of cars that use it is currently minimal, and most are still running an older build.