Tesla Drivers Are Using Their In-Dash Browser To Keep Up With The News, Quantcast Says

What are Tesla owners actually doing with their in-car web browsers? That’s the question that ad measurement and targeting company Quantcast tried to answer with some just-released data.

Apparently, the Tesla Model S (of which there are now more than 25,000 on the road) includes a 17-inch touchscreen with a web browser, and yes, it works when you’re driving.

To see the kind of browsing that someone might actually do in a car, Quantcast used a browser identifier to isolate Tesla visits to 100 million sites over a 30-day period. Focusing on properties that received more than 100 pageviews, the company tracked 463,000 PVs from Teslas over that period, and it says news sites accounted for an unusually large amount (54 percent) of traffic — Drudge Report alone represented 10 percent of all Tesla pageviews, with finance news sites collectively representing 13 percent. In the news category, local sites made up 26 percent of all visits.

Quantcast also found relatively uniform usage between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., which seemed surprising — in a blog post, the company wondered, “Do Tesla owners simply drive all day?” Well, there were some differences across that time period, with entertainment usage higher during midday and news during commute hours. Quantcast said it’s saving the question of whether those are the same drivers browsing through the day “for a later analysis.”

And what does this tell us about broader usage patterns as more Internet-connected cars hit the market? The company concludes:

While the Tesla Model S is the first large-scale production car shipped with a standard web browser, it’s not clear that browsing behavior from the Model S can foretell the future use of connected cars as a media platform. Connected cars will evolve as automakers begin to offer native app environments from Google and Apple. The current browsing activity appears to be more reflective of Tesla owners, half of whom live in California and are self-selected to have higher incomes and be early tech adopters. What we can say is that Tesla owners are using their in-dash browsers for news, finance and more, even though they presumably have smartphones on hand. Tesla drivers have validated the value of an in-car browsing experience that goes beyond destination finding—an early indicator that the connected car is a new media platform to watch.