“…Elon’s emergence points to the growing convergence of IT and automotive technology as the smart car starts to take shape.”
A new AI assistant is aimed at making Tesla owners its new Facebook friends.
It’s called Elon, presumably after Tesla inventor Elon Musk, and it operates via Facebook Messenger. While Tesla vehicles already come equipped with their own Tesla apps, Elon is meant to provide useful information to desktop users, such as the car’s current climate status and whether climate control is currently on, or whether its doors are locked or unlocked. (It can also provide less useful information like vehicle identification number, and make and model – stuff that probably isn’t a pressing concern when users are just busying themselves on Facebook.)
The app appears to still be in its very early stages: SmartCar, the Silicon Valley startup behind the app, doesn’t yet have any content on its website’s blog post at the time of writing. But the company says it is already working with Hyundai to adapt the core technology to that automakers Ionique line of electric-powered cars, which suggests its development is accelerating quickly.
In any case, Elon’s emergence points to the growing convergence of IT and automotive technology as the smart car starts to take shape. There has been a flurry of activity lately – Microsoft, for example, recently announced that it would license IT to car makers, starting with Toyota, and that its Cortana AI assistant will be extended to smart car applications; and Mercedes Benz has teamed up with Gemalto to issue virtual, smartphone-based car keys for its new E-Class cars.
For Tesla’s part, Elon Musk has aimed to make its vehicles technologically revolutionary, and ‘Elon’ – or TeslaBot – could add a bit of momentum to that effort.