Mobile App/Vehicle Pairing

Mobile App/Vehicle Pairing

Does anyone yet know how the mobile app will communicate with the vehicle? Will the car have something similar to Amazon's "whispernet" technology that is included in all models or will we need to provide our own connectivity solution?

Elon mentioned native 4g connectivity, but will we need to purchase a wireless package from a telecom company for the basic functions like using the mobile app, remote thermostat control, google map functionality, traffic updates? I have a BMW 335i that still gets free traffic updates that I believe comes through a 3g connection for which I pay nothing (after owning the car for 5 years).

I am not expecting the ability to stream Pandora or Spotify for free, but I expect that the mobile app and the native mapping system would work seamlessly without additional expense.

Volker.Berlin | 9 July, 2012

At the launch event at the factory I spoke to the head of the software development team and the iPhone app developer and they both said the app talks to Tesla's servers, and the servers talk to the car. My guess is that you'll get that for free (i.e., the car sending info to Tesla that you can access because Tesla wants to collect usage/diagnostic data), but if you want the other things George talked about (internet radio, web browser) you'll need to pay for a data plan. (nickjhowe | June 13, 2012)

That's about all we know by now.

Electric Machete | 10 July, 2012

Thanks, Volker. You should start receiving some sort of stipend from Tesla. You know more about the Model S than the dealer reps.

MandL | 10 July, 2012

There has been lots said about the subject of Tesla-provided connectivity already, but I seriously doubt they will beyond the 1 year for Sigs. I can't imagine any reason why they would need (or want to open themselves up to the privacy concerns about) real-time vehicle info. And I expect just about every Model S owner will have their car connected at least to wifi while parked at home charging since some kind of connection is required to get software updates, etc., so why pay for all those data plans? I suspect if you want to use the smartphone app when your car is away from a wifi network or your tethered phone you will have to buy your own data plan. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

BTW - Traffic info is sent over FM in many parts of the world.

Volker.Berlin | 10 July, 2012

I can't imagine any reason why they would need (or want to open themselves up to the privacy concerns about) real-time vehicle info. (MandL)

One reason would be "bricking-prevention". AFAIK there is a service for the Roadster that lets Tesla monitor the battery more or less real-time. When a problem shows, Tesla can email and/or phone the owner. The service is optional and requires the consent of the owner. I don't know if it is free. I assume that a similar service will be offered for the Model S.

MandL | 10 July, 2012

Since they say the Model S can sit a year (or something like that) without bricking, maybe this isn't as necessary. I guess it's possible someone who dropped all that money and waited breathlessly for months or years to get their car might park it away in a barn somewhere for a year, but then I expect Tesla might drop them a line to say "your car hasn't checked in for X months. Is it plugged in?" In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a warranty caveat that requires us to have our cars on-line at some minimal interval. I guess we'll see soon enough!