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Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Vger, Jan 6, 2013.
Would love to know...
I can't claim any credible information, sorry.
... but I can speculate with the best of them. Tesla has been telling owners through at least December that they'll have a 90 day free 3G preview, after which we'd need to sign up for a data plan. The details of the data plan haven't been announced yet and the car would lose a lot of functionality without an alternative (especially with the Tech Package!) I would bet that Telsa plans to roll out 3G data plan pricing and a Wi-Fi alternative for tethering through your phone. They'd want to do so by the end of February at the latest, so any time between now and then would seem likely. Of course it's not unheard of for software to miss its schedule, so even the engineer working on the software wouldn't be able to tell you with 100% precision – unless it's already done and waiting to be rolled out.
I would hope they would implement tethering, as I know many people (including myself) are not keen on another monthly bill, particularly when most of us already have data plans with our phones. Wifi, to me, would be more for loading music or syncing with my I home network rather than 3G. I haven't read anything official about either though with regards to timing.
Perhaps I don't understand wifi tethering, but what specifically would Tesla have to do other than enable the wifi capability of the Model S? As far as I understand it, any device that has wifi capacity can connect via a wifi tether device, such as a phone or hotspot. Therefore, Tesla should just have to enable wifi on the Model S.
I think the question is wheter the car will be able to connect to a WIFI network as a client or if the car will be able to itself become a WIFI network that other devices in turn can connect to. I believe the former is a given, while the latter has been signaled not to come (read somewhere else on this forum, sorry but I don't have the reference).
Kind of like how your smart phone can connect to any WIFI network, but you need to enable Internet Sharing (or something similarily named) for other phones/computers etc. to be able to connect to your phone and share your internet service.
None at this time.
That's basically correct but I think what people mean by "support tethering" is that the Model S becomes the hot-spot, not that it can connect to a hot-spot.
In principle it could work either way:
1) The car can connect to the internet via its 3G modem and support tethering for other devices in the car, via WiFi. This could be useful for non-cellular-equipped tablets in the car, or for people whose phones do not data-roam to the location the car is travelling in.
2) The driver's phone or tablet can supply the cellular internet connection, through their own data plans, and by their OWN support of tethering, create a WiFi hotspot that the car can connect to. I think a lot of people are interested in this option, so they can avoid paying for a separate data contract for the car, when the 3-month (production) or 12/month (Signature) free trial periods end.
I wonder if Tesla is dragging their feet about the WiFi support because they have contract issues with AT&T on tethering, or giving people the option to bypass the car's 3G service entirely, via WiFi and tethering the car to a phone (on a competitor's data plan). I hope not!
I'd hope the scenario of the car connecting to a WiFi network is important for cases where you get no cell coverage at your home/garage but have internet and can get updates and allow tesla to pull info from your car if needed.
If that works, you'd be able to connect to your phone's mobile hotspot and not need a data plan for your car.
Not forget to cool or heat the car with the phone App.
Also, WiFi will probably be much faster for downloading updates. 3G *most* of the time maxes out at 2 ~ 5Mbit, but my connection at home is 50Mbit. Better use that one.
My iPhone can act as a WiFi hotspot or provide internet access to my PC via a USB connection. I personally find the iPhone's WiFi hotspot quirky, at best. It usually takes me several attempts to get my tablet, laptop or whatever to connect that way, and it'll frequently drop the connection. I'd prefer if Model S lets me tether my iPhone via a USB connection, which generally is much more reliable. It wouldn't be fun trying to re-establish a WiFi connection that has dropped while zipping down the freeway!
I spoke with a product specialist a while back and they had just completed a meeting where tethering was discussed. The Model S will be able to connect to the Internet through a phone either by making the phone a mobile hot spot or by USB tethering. To me it makes much more sense to connect the phone to the USB port as there will be a mechanical connection to the phone and the phone will be charged at the same time.
Indeed, USB tethering is much better due to the mechanical connection.
Tethering also draws a lot of power, so you'd have to charge your phone anyway.
I used to be excited about tethering, but is anyone actually looking forward to switching from having 3g to having to plug in their phone each time just to continue playing slacker or seeing your maps? I sure don't want to. I'd rather push a button to start the car
If there isn't a 4G upgrade path for the car - then the only option may be tethering to a 4G phone.
One concern about the tethering option - is that it might require manually activating the tethering on the phone - which would be tedious to do every time getting and leaving the car - more complicated than just plugging into the USB.
I don't yet have a need for the 4g except possibly for browsing the web which I hardly do at all. Maps and traffic and slacker work great for me on 3g.
I've found the web browser to be almost completely unusable at this point. Aside from the somewhat slow data rate (which I can handle), the browser itself is slow as molasses. Try pulling up a teslamotorsclub.com thread and scrolling. S---L----O----W! Hopefully they will work on optimizing the code in the near future.
Mod Note: updated title to reflect discussion. Also added search tags.
IMO most of the slowness has to do with browser memory and not the 3G connection. I've done some testing and found that I, on average, can get about 1.5Mbps. More than enough for a simple website. The real issue is that the threads and memory get hung up download ancillary content while you're attempting to provide input to the screen.
Based on my understanding of the Tegra 2 (i.e., that is has a dedicated GPU) and my tests of the signal speed... I think this is simply a software bug that can be easily fixed at some point in the future.
So, I have no 3G coverage inside my garage. None. Nada. Zilch. This means that currently, the app is completely useless when my car is plugged in at home. And of course, Tesla won't hand out the car's phone number, so I can't put it into my AT&T repeater so that the car gets a signal.
Does anyone know if the app will support use of Wi-fi when it's enabled? Otherwise, all these neat features (checking/initiating charge, climate control, etc.) are completely useless when the car's at home :crying: