It occurred to me with the latest successful Starlink launch that the system would provide good support for the present Tesla network. Is anyone aware if this being considered?

Update: I just checked and there are currently 182 satellites in orbit. Not all will be in the operational network.

Update 2020-01-08: The Starlink user antenna has been described as: "looks like a thin, flat, round UFO on a stick." It requires no user setup other than installing the pole. All the satellite discovery, tracking, etc. is automatic. Much like a Tesla car. It'll be interesting to get some info on the terminal.

BadgerErickson | 7 gennaio 2020

Yes, with 60 linked satellites I'd IMAGINE Mr. Musk is on it. For you. For me.

EVRider | 7 gennaio 2020

It’s my understanding that the satellite network doesn’t have the bandwidth necessary to support Tesla vehicles, and is intended to provide coverage to areas that don’t have any.

jordanrichard | 7 gennaio 2020

I think one of the other goals for Starlink is to support FSD cars. To have a FSD car rely solely on cell signals for navigation/mapping, means you are solely dependent on there being no power outages.

Xerogas | 7 gennaio 2020

StarLink will have plenty of bandwidth, but those ground side antennas are really big, and would not fit nicely in a car.

Wormtown Kris | 7 gennaio 2020

Starlink is first going to be made available to Canadian and northern US customers after 12 missions/ 720 satellites. The eventual build out is up to 42,000 satellites(!!) Potential uses include aircraft, military, etc. Absolute global coverage. Certainly should have the bandwidth for the Tesla network, at some point in the build out. As @Xerogas points out, the key will be in the receivers on the terrestrial side.

andy.connor.e | 8 gennaio 2020

Potential uses are unlimited. Its global coverage. Stretching thousands of miles of cables on ground will seem primitive.

NoMoPetrol | 8 gennaio 2020

What about internet service? Is that in the master plan at some point?

andy.connor.e | 8 gennaio 2020

lol @NoMo

Thats what starlink is. Low latency internet service.

reed_lewis | 8 gennaio 2020

The cars will need a new antenna installed in order to take advantage of the Starlink system. It is a different connectivity method from WiFi or cellular.

So do not expect the current cars to use Starlink without some modification.

jordanrichard | 8 gennaio 2020

Is it not possible the our cars already have a GPS receiver in them. The old school basic Garman's worked off GPS satellite signals.

andy.connor.e | 8 gennaio 2020

The cars could utilize the already existing antenna they get for internet. What makes more sense is that the satellite to ground connection will be from a main central node antenna, and then that can be distributed the way cellular is distributed today.

But take that with a grain of salt because i do not know what the true intentions of starlink are for their "masterplan" if you will.

reed_lewis | 8 gennaio 2020

GPS is a receive only system which receives a very low bandwidth signal which contains the timing code for the GPS satellite transmitting. GPS does not transmit at all so that antenna is not useful.

The 5-6 antennas in a Tesla are:
XM radio (receive only and not in every car of course)
GPS (receive only, and VERY low bandwidth)
FM/AM (receive only)
Cellular (uses frequencies that would not be used for satellite communication)
WiFi (uses a power level that much too low to travel much further than a few hundred feet. This would not be usable when driving 65 MPH)
Bluetooth (even shorter range, so useless)

Even if there were ground stations as proposed by @andy.conner.e, there is no antenna and receiver/transmitter that would work with it. But having to install thousands of ground stations negates the use of satellite. You could wire the ground stations to a network, and then you are basically re designing cellular which is already in existence.

There will need to be some sort of new transceiver and antenna added to the car to give you Starlink service. The one issue I worry about would be in cities with tall buildings. The exposure to the sky is very limited and when in garages, it is even less. So the car would probably have to fall back to Cellular for those locations.

XM gets around this by having three frequencies. One and Two is from the satellites, and Three is a local repeater. I had an old portable XM radio that allowed monitoring of all three frequencies signal strength and S/N ratio. In Boston XM installed a powerful transmitter for the Boston area which actually reached for about 15 miles in all directions.

reed_lewis | 8 gennaio 2020

...and of course I forgot about the key antennas for the S/X but that would be useless also.

andy.connor.e | 8 gennaio 2020

Thats why i said take what i say with a grain of salt, because i dont know what the masterplan is, nor do i know how they are going to go about the execution.

reed_lewis | 8 gennaio 2020

I understand. I was just trying to point out that none of the current antennas or transceivers would be capable of using a satellite based internet system at all.

Jhattonc | 8 gennaio 2020

I want to see it on the cybertruck plenty of places I plan on going with mine that currently have poor or nonexistent cell coverage