Some Tesla owners are reporting a new in-vehicle message that points to the electric car company tracking their data usage.
As first reported by Elektrek, a data usage counter that points to a 50GB cap is popping up in some vehicles. As it stands, it’s unclear what Tesla will do if this cap is passed.
The message is appearing to people who have either the Standard or Premium Connectivity internet packages. Standard Connectivity offers basic maps, music and media features over the internet. Meanwhile, Premium Connectivity brings music streaming, an internet browser and over-the-air software updates. Premium is only available in certain Tesla models and can’t be upgraded to otherwise.
Tesla has a bit of a confusing history when it comes to internet usage in its vehicles. When the Model S in 2012, Tesla quietly offered internet at no additional cost. It wasn’t until 2014 when the company clarified that internet service would be offered for free four years. However, by 2018, Tesla continued to provide the service for free without any word of when it may be terminated.
Based on the new data usage counter, it appears that Tesla is planning to start charging people, although it has yet to respond to Elektrek‘s initial report. Nonetheless, it makes sense for Tesla to begin charging for internet, especially as it prepares to add YouTube and Netflix integration.
Given how quickly data can be consumed by these services, it’s easy to see why Tesla might want to finally charge for in-car internet access. It’s likely Tesla will reveal more when it rolls out its V10 software update in the coming weeks.