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Tesla owners will soon be able to watch Disney+ on their car’s touchscreen

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk announced the company is preparing to add Disney+ compatibility to its infotainment system. The streaming service will soon be available on the Model 3, the Model S, and the Model X.

Posting on his official Twitter account, which is the best place for up-to-the-minute Tesla news, the executive announced Disney+ is “coming soon” to Tesla Theater, the company’s growing library of streamable video content. Musk’s definition of the word soon has varied greatly in the past, and he didn’t provide a more specific timeframe for when Disney’s streaming service will arrive, but it’s safe to bet Tesla owners will receive the function via an over-the-air software update.

Tesla launched the Theater function when it rolled out version 10.0 of its touchscreen-based infotainment system. It can only be turned on when the car is in park, so don’t expect to laugh at Family Guy jokes while you’re cruising at 80 mph, and launching it requires only a few quick taps of the touchscreen. As of writing, Theater gives owners access to Netflix, YouTube, and a growing library of tutorial videos created by the automaker.

Letting motorists watch shows, movies, and random cat videos online while parked is a wise, forward-thinking move on Tesla’s part because owners typically spend more time sitting in their vehicle than those who drive a car powered by an internal combustion engine. While charging times are getting shorter as technology improves, taking a road trip in a Tesla (or any other electric car) still requires sitting at a charging station while the battery gets zapped with a full charge. Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services make the time go by faster; airlines figured this out decades ago.

Watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarves while supercharging your Model 3 won’t be free. You’ll, of course, need a Disney+ membership, which currently costs $7 per month or $70 annually, and Tesla will soon begin charging owners $10 a month for a feature called Premium Connectivity that unlocks the coolest, most high-tech parts of its infotainment system, like the streaming service, the satellite view navigation system, and live traffic data.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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