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Your Tesla will soon talk to passing pedestrians like Knight Rider

Your Tesla will soon talk to passing pedestrians like Knight Rider
[Photo: Vlad Tchompalov/Unsplash]

Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to announce an upcoming feature upgrade to your Tesla: the ability for it to talk to passing pedestrians. In a tweet, Musk posted a short video clip showing a Tesla Model 3 “speaking” to a pedestrian as the car drives slowly by. Musk writes: “Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real.”

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In the short clip, the Model 3 says, “Well, don’t just stand there staring, hop in.”

So what’s going on and why is a Tesla telling strangers to get in? New safety regulations are coming into effect that mandate electric vehicles make artificial noises when they travel at certain speeds. These noises are to alert nearby pedestrians that an EV is close. Most electric vehicles make practically no sound traveling at low speeds compared to their combustion engine counterparts, which could lead to unaware pedestrians being hit.

Though Tesla could just add beeping or other noises to its cars, it seems Musk is intent on going all Knight Rider instead, letting the car “talk” to pedestrians with a prerecorded message. As for right now, that message says, “Well, don’t just stand there staring, hop in,” as The Verge points out, because Musk one day plans for autonomous Teslas to roam the streets when their owners aren’t using them, allowing the cars to act as ride-sharing vehicles and thus making their owner some spare cash. Such phrases as “Well, don’t just stand there staring, hop in” would alert nearby riders that the Tesla is available for hire.

In follow-up tweets, Musk says these talking Teslas will also work in Sentry mode, which will make for “some epic robber confusion.”

And if speaking to pedestrians doesn’t work out, Musk says the Tesla can always just fart at people as it drives by.

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