Tesla Model X Owner Mounts Starlink to Car, Tests Download Speeds While Driving

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Image: @harald_murphy on Twitter

Australian Tesla Model X owner Harald Murphy (@harald_murphy) recently attached a SpaceX Starlink terminal to their car and drove it around to test the satellite broadband service’s signal strength and internet speeds on the go.

Driving around a nearby freeway at over 60 mph (around 100 km/hr), Murphy found that he was getting download speeds of about 200 Mbps and upload speeds of around 17 Mbps, which is actually higher than some terrestrial broadband providers.

Murphy also shared some range data for Starlink in a follow-up tweet. Even though Starlink service is bound to users’ addresses and only remains functional in a specific radius around that location, Murphy observed rock-solid coverage at around 18.6 miles (30 km) from his home. Coverage didn’t drop until some 24.8 miles (40 km) away.

SpaceX does plan on rolling out a mobile Starlink service down the road, but that is intended for aircraft, big trucks, sea vessels, and more β€” not cars.

To mount “Dishy McFlatface” to the car, Murphy used a welded steel fabrication securely attached to the Model X’s trailer hitch. Fortunately, Murphy didn’t get ticketed like that one Tesla owner who attached a Starlink terminal to their car’s hood in California earlier this year.

Replying to Murphy’s tweet, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that even more improvement is “still coming, just from software updates to satellites & terminals.” That’s good to hear, considering a recent report from Ookla Speedtest found that Starlink speeds dipped slightly during the third quarter of this year as more users joined the network.

Murphy has already made some improvements to his test configuration, creating “V2.0” of the experimental rig. The Model X owner said he will be running even more tests in early January.

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