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Tesla Voice Commands

Tesla Voice Commands

I want to ask about a "voice command" that I find very powerful and seems to always be left off the list. It is "Hey Siri." I have seen that it works with my wife's iPhone 7, without pushing any buttons except the Model S voice command button. I have an old Android 5.1 phone, and I happen to like Android phones, so I wonder if this also works with "OK Google" or "Hey Google" for a newer Android phone. "Hey Siri" (or Android equivalent) is really helpful and powerful. (Please don't confuse this post with using a smart speaker in your house to do things like start charging your Tesla. This is not about that; I'm talking about saying "Hey Siri" while driving down the road.) It allows you to conveniently send a text or an email, make a note, search for an answer to any question, set up an appointment, etc. while driving (i.e. before I forget...). I am hoping this will always work, and neither Tesla nor Apple/Google will disable it b/c it's "dangerous". If it only works with iPhones, that will make my decision about my phone upgrade; I would have to switch from Android back to Apple iOS just so I can have this feature. Who can further educate me about this topic; particularly, is Google Assistant for the latest Android OS integrated as well as Apple Siri seems to be? Does the Siri voice command still work with the latest iPhones, and will it (probably) always work? Thanks!!

EVRider | May 30, 2018

I might be wrong, but I believe the “Hey Siri” command is handled by the iPhone itself, it’s not a voice command for the car (you don’t need to push the voice control button). You should be able to do the same thing with other phones that have the equivalent voice feature.

johnalan.gibby | May 30, 2018

Well, it gets handled over the car microphone/speakers - via Bluetooth. Not via the phone mic/speaker. I could be remembering incorrectly, but I think this happened when I initiated a Siri session with the voice control button and said "Hey Siri". That's what's nice; was seamless and integrated with car audio. My old Android phone doesn't do that. I will confirm this when I can (with my wife's phone). But anybody with a recent Iphone could try it sooner than that.

reed_lewis | May 30, 2018

It is using your phone's microphone to initiate the session. The microphone does not connect to the phone until the phone is hearable in the car.

This is why I do not use it, because I leave my phone in the base between the seats, and the phone does not hear me a lot of times.

johnalan.gibby | May 31, 2018

Well Reed & EVR, that is helpful. I see you are both correct. The way the iPhone works is, if I push the voice command button and say Hey Siri, the phone microphone initiates the session, then Model S picks it up on Bluetooth and completes it, even if it takes several back-and-forth interactions. I can't make it work this way with my old Android phone. Am still curious to find out if it works better with newer Android phones, or if it only does this with an iPhone. Will find somebody who will let me use their newer Android phone, to test it out. Thanks for the help!

jordanrichard | May 31, 2018

No, it does not use Bluetooth. From our living room, I have told Siri to unlock my car’s doors and it does it.

sablatt | March 31, 2019

Before our Tesla 3, I've owned Prius cars, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. Between the Prii and my iPhone, I've become very used to using a voice interface to make phone calls. I can't understand why a 2018 Tesla is so much worse than a 2010 Prius at this.

For example, I have a contact named David Smith who has mobile and work numbers. With the Prius, I can say, "Dial David Smith mobile," and it does so. If I do this through the Tesla, it becomes confused and suggests several contacts on the screen, not always including David Smith.

If David Smith has a mobile and work number, and I say "Dial David Smith,", the Prius offers me the choice of mobile or work, but it offers it both orally and on the screen. I can respond orally or by touching the screen, and I always respond orally because it's safer to keep my eyes on the road. On the Tesla, I am forced to respond by looking at and touching the screen.

The Tesla is supposed to be one of the most technologically sophisticated cars available, and this is clearly a safety issue as looking at the road is much safer than looking at and touching a screen. Why is it that voice interface over the primary phone function is so much worse than a 9 year old Prius? It may not be flashy since it's not new to the automobile industry, but it would be an amazing win for drivers if the Tesla's voice interface technology was as good as a 9 year old car that costs half as much when new.

mufflesound | April 1, 2019

In a recent set of tweets this weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that more voice commands would be rolled out to the Model 3 as it continues to evolve towards full autonomy.