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How do Superchargers know my ID?

Discussion in 'North America' started by Vic4Model3, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Vic4Model3

    Vic4Model3 Member

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    I understand that if locals continue to charge at the Palo Alto Supercharger, they will get a letter asking them to use their home charger. But, how does the Supercharger know your ID?
     
  2. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    it communicates/authenticates your car when you plug in.
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Two pieces here:

    First, the car passes the VIN to the Supercharger immediately after communication is established.

    Second, the car keeps a record of everything of significance that happens which it uploads to Tesla - which would include charging sessions and GPS locations...
     
  4. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    #4 SW2Fiddler, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
    It doesn't need to.
    Tesla Motors is connected to your vehicle over the air. Where you've charged, and when, are easily pulled from logs.
     
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  5. newtman

    newtman Member

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    1) There's no supercharger in Palo Alto
    2) No letters have been sent out since last year, when Tesla found that doing so was a PR fiasco
    3) Elon Musk has publicly stated that using local superchargers on a regular basis is fine if you don't have access to home charging (condo/apartment dwellers)
     
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  6. Vic4Model3

    Vic4Model3 Member

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    That's comforting to know it's okay for occasionally use of local SCs.
     
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  7. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    while this is partially true it is not the correct answer, which is that the SpC authenticates the car before allowing the "juice" to flow
     
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  8. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    Closer, but still not quite right.

    The information of wether or not your car should charge is stored in your car. Or actually that was how it worked last time I saw it.

    So, if Tesla wanted to prevent your car from charging, they would change a setting into your car via the 3G connection instead of telling all superchargers to deny your VIN a charge.

    wk057 was quite angry at Tesla for that reason, I'll try to find the link if I can.
     
  9. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    in other words the SpC and the car communicate in order to authenticate the car in order to allow the car to charge at the SpC. what exactly isn't correct?
    not all model s cars are SpC enabled. Tesla would not stop a properly enabled car from using a SpC unless a fault was detected. the potential for denial is not used as punitive action.
     
  10. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    #10 deonb, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    Authentication would imply the SuperCharger knows something about your car, or that there is some sort of secure exchange between the SuperCharger and the car based on a private key exchange.

    However, this is just a bit stored in the clear. Anybody who wants to can set the same bit. So it's more like an honor system.
     
  11. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    You said the SpC authenticates the car, whilst it is the opposite (the car tells the charger it has supercharger enabled.)

    I found one link I was referring to from wk057.
     
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  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    regardless of which way the conversation goes, the car communicates with the SpC in order to authenticate the car's ability to use the SpC. if you want to parse this any further, have fun.
     
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  13. schonelucht

    schonelucht Active Member

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    That's incorrect. There is no check on the VIN before the juice flows. wk057 has successfully supercharged a car while sending a completely bogus VIN. No issue at all. As long as the car speaks the supercharger protocol, the supercharge will energize.
     
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  14. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    It's not authenticating any more than going into your local library and sitting down to read a book is authenticating.

    You pretty much just have to look like a human to get in - no furry creatures allowed.

    The problem is that the SuperCharger check for humanity is akin to "Those who wear clothes", and it breaks down when you put a sweater on your dog.
     
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  15. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    wk057 spoofed the car to trick the system.
     
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  16. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I saw that. It does appear to indicate that the Supercharger isn't doing much with the VIN right now.

    Tesla being Tesla, though, if they had a reason to worry about it, they already have the protocol in place - does anyone really believe they can't update the firmware on every Supercharger overnight if they want to?
     
  17. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    OP's question wasn't how it determines whether you can charge or not. It was how to tell if locals were using a local Supercharger. I'd agree with @SW2Fiddler on this. Vehicle logs would be the best way to determine this. I don't know Tesla's policy on using the data this way, as they've stated that they don't tie the location data to the owner. It's possible they do tie the Supercharger data, and that would be enough.
     
  18. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    My answer was to the question I actually quoted, "How Do It Know (whom to send a dreaded letter to)?"
    Not the question you heard.
    Whatever the authentication method for Supercharging, the SC itself need not be consulted wrt a vehicle's charging history ...because the vehicle has that. Witness the little Lightning Badges collected on the nav map.
    I'm saying they can query the cars.
    (Don't know whether they do or not!)
     
  19. SSD420

    SSD420 Member

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    Doesn't Tesla pretty much know where all Tesla's are at all times? If your car were to get stolen, Tesla could pinpoint it for the cops. Am I wrong?
     
  20. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I don't think so. Each car knows where it us all the time, and Tesla can certainly talk to each car and ask it where it is (which should help with the stolen car,) but I don't think they keep a database on a server or a map of where each car was last seen - at least, I've never read any evidence they are doing that. The hardware us certainly there, but I'm not sure they'd gain anything, and it would certainly take a bunch of data across the cellular to do.
     

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