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FW updates OTA vs WiFi?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by wdimagineer, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    This update prioritization strategy does not sit well with me. My car parks in a garage at home and at the office with no wifi penetration.

    I bought this car in part to be an early adopter and receive software updates over the air. Hopefully those that do pay for connectivity will be prioritized as well in some way.

    I've also argued that Tesla should let you download a file to a usb stick and bypass wireless data altogether. My 200Mbps connection at home is way faster and more reliable than HSPA.
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    You couldn't put an access point in the garage?
     
  3. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    (Sound of tires skidding to a halt)

    Wait, wha!? 200Mbps connection at home? What, you got fiber or something? Do tell!
     
  4. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    #4 Denarius, Aug 14, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
    Carriers generally limit the number of "devices" that updates can be pushed to at a time. You'll notice on cell phones that not everyone gets the update at the same time. This is to prevent overloading the carriers data network. If you connect via wifi you bypass this issue and they can push to the car as soon as it is available.
     
  5. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    I live in a condo.

    I use Webpass. Ethernet connectivity delivered directly to my condo.
     
  6. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    If you're using a feature phone or a non-iOS smartphone, yes, this is true. Updates are queued and distributed to devices using various algorithms to determine eligibility, typically after months of carrier testing and bloatware injection. When it comes to iOS devices, Apple controls the deploy, but the file size typically means you need to switch to WiFi except for things like updated carrier settings. (50MB I believe is the maximum file size that can be downloaded from an Apple-controlled property like iTunes, App Store, etc. over Cellular Data.)

    In terms of Model S, staggered rollouts are designed to keep Tesla's servers from being overwhelmed. I don't know if they're using a CDN (if not, they should be for geographic speed improvements), but I suspect this has to do with cost until they announce a connectivity package. Model S traffic via AT&T is not treated any differently. It's just "data". And software updates are probably the most data intensive, so it makes sense they want to reduce this.

    I would love to have Model S connected to WiFi at home or work, but it's just not possible for me. I don't think I should be put at the back of the queue because of this. They sold the car to me saying they'll deliver updates "over the air" via 3G. No mention that 3G would take a back seat to WiFi.
     
  7. strider

    strider Active Member

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    It's essentially free for them to deploy over WiFi vs they have to pay to send you updates over 3G. They are trying to "nudge" more folks to use WiFi.
     
  8. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    Sure. But those that can't? That's why my final point was that if I pay for connectivity (at some point - when announced) can I get in with the cool kids using WiFi?

    I suspect Tesla will, at a minimum, potentially have to offer some kind of free connectivity package. You might lose maps and Internet radio, etc., but it would allow for updates, telemetry data, etc. Those can be the folks that are put at the back of the queue.

    I also mentioned another distribution method. I'd like to see them use USB. At work, with around 3,500 workstations, we download once to a central server (with replicas) and deploy across our network. USB could allow friends/neighbors with Model S to download it once and share the update, negating the need for Tesla to spend any bandwidth at all.
     
  9. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

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    I don't think we should read too much into this. My interpretation is simply that they can move X updates a day over 3G due to their own data plans, and that they'll continue that rate of push while also pushing out updates to those people using WiFi. If I see things correctly, then the people who get updates quickly because they're on WiFi are getting their updates in addition to, and not instead of, any updates pushed over 3G. No one is "going to the back of the line"... rather, the existing line stays and now there's another, additional line you can use.

    I realize that my interpretation could be incorrect. But then, let's keep in mind that any interpretation could be incorrect. So let's not get too perturbed about this.
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I don't have a direct quote handy but they've already said this on more than one occasion. I don't recall if they've commented on telemetry data or not, hence excluding that from the underlining.
     
  11. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    #11 Cosmacelf, Aug 14, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
    if you are an early adopter, then might I suggest getting wifi working in your garage?

    i recently upgraded my household wifi network to use all Apple base stations. These are nice in that they allow seamless roaming with soft handoff from base station to base station as you walk around the house. My house is a fairly large single story, so I need three base stations to cover everything.

    just read that you live in a condo. How many stories away from the garage are you?
     
  12. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    I'm 16 stories up. I run Aruba wireless gear in my condo. I'm thinking about possibly trying a directional antenna aimed at the area of the garage where my car typically sits.
     
  13. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I agree with this and thanks for the clarification. They'll likely make the download available for everyone on WiFi on Day 1 while also beginning the phased rollout like they have been doing so far on Day 1 for those on 3G. If you're active on TMC you could simply read here when an update is available and then figure out how to get your car in range of WiFi (Starbucks, temp install in garage, etc). Though I wonder if there is/will be a way to "kick" the car to check for an update or if it will automatically after joining a network?
     
  14. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    @wdimagineer: have you considered the alternative to just leave a spare phone tethered in your car? I added an extra phone (bought on ebay for my daughter) to my plan last year and made no difference to my monthly plan.

    In general, it's worth remembering that as most people will be on WiFi and that has fewer volume restrictions Tesla can load up those cars faster, so having less cars on OTA will mean the roll-outs will go much faster in any case. Even if the OTA folks weren't prioritized I'd wager we're looking at a roll-out that will take only days or maybe a few weeks to complete. That's not likely to be a hardship for anyone.
     
  15. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

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    Off-topic, but I've just moved several networks onto access points made by Ubiquiti Networks (ubnt.com IIRC), and I'm thrilled with them. Apple limits your throughput in several ways, Sonicwall and Cisco are bloody expensive, other brands don't easily provide soft handoffs... Ubiquiti does everything I need, has a great management app, and is not expensive at $75 per AP for the high-power version. I'm using about 18 of their AP's so far.
     
  16. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    The other problem... Minimal service (if any at all) in our garage. I do have a mobile LTE hotspot I might utilize. But as mentioned above, I don't think there's any way to trigger an update. So it would be luck of the draw.
     
  17. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

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    I am a happy webpass Condo user (no ota updates when car is 60 feet underground). We need special accomdation from Tesla!
     
  18. wdimagineer

    wdimagineer Member

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    USB is the way to go.
     
  19. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Any chance your condo would work with you to add WiFi in the garage? Probably not but maybe worth asking. They could even restrict the access to certain devices I believe.
     
  20. bradc

    bradc Member

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    That part is still 100% true. Nothing about wifi updates changes the fact that you'll get software updates over the air via 3G.

    Part of buying a car that's updated after you buy it is understanding that updates are by definition change. You can't expect Tesla to tell you everything they're going to do before they do it. They made certain promises at the time of sale (updates over 3G) and they are keeping those promises. I don't see how you have any reason to be disappointed.
     

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