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TuneIn Goes Electric With Tesla

Audio platform jumps into a specialty dashboard

Soon, at least one vehicle will allow a driver to access the TuneIn audio service without a smartphone.

TuneIn will be integrated directly into the new Tesla Model S, a “premium electric sedan.” Carmaker Tesla has big hopes for the electric vehicle marketplace; it hopes to build 5,000 of this new model this year, and 20,000 more in 2013. The vehicle price starts at about $50,000, and that is after federal tax credits.

The Integration means Tesla drivers can bypass using a smartphone to listen to AM, FM, HD and Internet radio Web streams from some 70,000 stations. That includes programming from ESPN Radio, CBS Radio and WGN(AM) as well as on-demand audio.

Drivers will navigate audio content with a 17-inch touchscreen. The TuneIn service is available through a Tesla “packaged data plan.”

Both TuneIn and Tesla are based in Palo Alto, Calif. Tesla’s website says it was “founded in 2003 by a group of intrepid Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome.”

TuneIn CEO John Donham stated in the announcement that this marks his company’s 200th platform, counting in-home systems, smartphone apps and other outlets.