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Model S Internet

Discussion in 'Model S' started by jchau, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. jchau

    jchau Member

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    I was curious of anyone could give me a brief explanation of how the car based internet program works. I am waiting in the long line for a Model 3.

    Questions:
    What happens when the initial internet service stops?
    Any apps besides google maps, web browser, and software updates require the internet (i'm assuming you can connect to wifi connection)?
    Could you use your cell phone as a hot spot for the car?

    Thanks for any information you guys could provide!
     
  2. pedriscoll

    pedriscoll True Blue Tesla Fan

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    So far Tesla has continued to pay for Internet radio from Slacker and Tune-in for all owners.
    The navigation system, browser, Internet radio, and software updates use the LTE connection.
    No you cannot use the car as a hot spot or your phone as a hot spot for the car.
    Currently all apps on the car are proprietary and supplied by Tesla.
     
    • Dislike x 1
  3. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure you can setup your phone as a hotspot and have your car connect to it. We don't know how Tesla is going to treat the M3 yet. They could provide free cell like they do with the S and X (so far) or they could charge you for it at some point.
     
  4. gocken2

    gocken2 Model S: P6931

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    The Model S can definitely connect to a wifi signal including your phones hot spot. The Model S will not become the hot spot for your devices.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The S will connect to any wifi source it can detect. If your phone can become a hotspot, the S will connect to it and it will then have access to the Internet.
     
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  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Be warned that if you connect the car to your cellular signal through your phone, you have no way to stop it from downloading a firmware or map update and chew through many gigs of your data plan in a very short period of time.
    It's very risky behaviour for the vast majority of people who do not have unlimited cellular data plans.
     
  7. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Yes, I can confirm that the Model S can connect to a cellular hot-spot. But in my experience with iPhone 6s and LTE over AT&T that the car can't keep a reliable connection to the hotspot, and reverts back to internal LTE. Also, it takes several tries to get the MS to even find/connect to the personal hotspot.

    tl;dr: It works, but unreliable.
     
  8. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I wouldn't say there's "no way" to prevent it, just that it's a PITA. On any modern android you can set data limits for the plan, the PITA part comes in that I don't think there's a way to set it for a particular session. I would expect similar functionality on an iPhone.
     
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  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    having all your data cut off until the end of your billing cycle may prevent overage charges, but it's not exactly an optimal solution.
     
  10. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    lol, this is getting way off topic, but I can set my data limits anywhere I want. If I used a 1GB so far, I can set the cap at 1.2GB, and let Tesla use 200MB for whatever it wants. And still have 1.8GB left in my 3GB plan.

    I agree, not optimal, and a PITA, but it can be done!
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Bad enough to have to manually enable tethering each time you get in the car, fiddling with data caps each time would be a royal pain.

    Without a way to tell Tesla that a specific wifi network should not be used for such things, you're pretty much stuck with their 3G connection, or finding one of those rare unlimited plans.

    Though there may be a partial solution. If all you want is mapping and internet radio, maybe you could firewall the mothership's IP on your phone (making the assumption that if your phone is in the car, you're not trying to use the app)
     
  12. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    All of the updates from Tesla have a notification that lets you schedule a time for the update. Easy enough to schedule this for a time when you're connected to a local WiFi instead of your mobile data.
    Don't know what Tesla plans for future Internet connectivity charges. They do get valuable data so they have an incentive to keep everyone connected. Also, retail "data only" plans are available for about $10/mo (and I'm sure they can get a better wholesale rate) so this isn't a large expense.
     
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  13. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    The notification only happens AFTER the data has all been downloaded to the car, it lets you schedule an install time, not a download time. The data has already been used.

    They haven't said, but I can almost guarantee they'll leave it enabled for their purposes (data collection, remote diagnostics, firmware updates), but charge you to use it for your purposes (the app, internet radio, google maps). Likely in the $30/mo range if they want to align with the gouging done by other manufacturers.
     
  14. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #14 Canuck, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    How do you do that? When I get an update, it's downloaded it already to the car and only allows me to select the time to install it.


    When Tesla stops paying for it, I don't see why we can't get our own SIM card and replace the one in there with our own plan:

    Where is the SIM card located?
     
  15. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    This is correct. Once you receive the update notice, the package has already been downloaded. No way to control/schedule that.
     
  16. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Sorry, sometime early in the 7.0 versions Tesla put in a "feature" that disables wifi whenever the car is in drive. This means you can only use your phone's internet (via WiFi hotspot) while stationary.
     
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  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Getting ready for when they roll out pricing for Internet no doubt. Much easier when you don't have to compete against those pesky hotspots that may be half the cost you charge.
     
  18. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    We have a 3G roaming issue in Canada that still isn't fully resolved: 3G connectivity issues since V6.xxx

    So I have to tether to my phone sometimes and wifi works here while driving. Maybe this is just for American vehicles?
     
  19. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Just tested it on a drive. I was able to connect wifi on my iPhone Hotspot while driving. It switched from LTE to my iPhone so it works. I'm on 2.20.30 so maybe they changed it back since you last tested it. Anyway, I've always thought this was a good backup for me since my phone is Verizon which gets me carrier diversity in case I dropped out of AT&T cell range in an emergency.
     
  20. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Hmm.... I'll retest. I remember seeing it drop wifi as soon as the shift selector was moved to D. Maybe it does, but you can manually reconnect it. I'll check tomorrow.
     

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