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MyTesla Alexa Skill?

Found some old threads on this but nothing new. Is anyone using this Alexa skill? Looks like it requires either Tesla credentials or a token to work. I started falling down the rabbit hole with generating a token and ultimately didn’t work.

Is this skill worth setting up? Any alternatives to check out? Or just avoid any kind of Alexa skills?
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
6,031
6,714
Maryland
Found some old threads on this but nothing new. Is anyone using this Alexa skill? Looks like it requires either Tesla credentials or a token to work. I started falling down the rabbit hole with generating a token and ultimately didn’t work.

Is this skill worth setting up? Any alternatives to check out? Or just avoid any kind of Alexa skills?
What specifically do you want to be able to do with Amazon Alexa and your Tesla vehicle?

If you want to use Alexa to precondition your Tesla, I'm not sure if you can currently do that.

If you want to use the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android phone the Amazon Echo Auto device enables true hands free use of the Alexa app from your Tesla vehicle.
 
Looks like you can do a bunch of things according the to the skill docs. Turn on climate controls, set degrees, seat heaters, etc. maybe it’s been updated???
yes, maybe updated, but as I was hoping to point out, I can do all that on my phone and since I rarely need to do it, I don't care to have a voice skill for that purpose. Of course, there are a lot of people that like voice commands for their Tesla.
Now if I can say "go get me a pizza", then I will use it :)
 

JHCCAZ

Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
675
1,297
Tucson
Ryan I can't contribute to the answer just yet - don't have my Model Y ordered, but I just wanted to let you know that there are others who would be interested. I'll be looking at this when the time comes in a month or two. I just didn't want to let your thread die due to the "Why would you ever want to do what you are asking about?"

I started using Amazon Echo Auto in some older cars that don't have built-in phone/Bluetooth, and I got to like it despite some imperfections. Enough so that I recently I unpaired the factory phone/Bluetooth in a newer (2010) vehicle and started using Echo Auto instead. Same for a recent Kia rental that had Android Auto - I tried it but preferred the Echo Auto method in that car. I'm not sure if my preference will be the same in the Tesla - TBD based on the built-in and remote app capabilities.

I also realize that you are asking about Alexa skills as applied to the Tesla, not necessarily use of Echo Auto in the car itself. These things are potentially related but not necessarily so.
 

JHCCAZ

Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
675
1,297
Tucson
Since I just saw that this thread got bumped with a new message, I looked in the Alexa app on my phone. I see a skill called Tessie, different from My Tesla. It has a few but enthusiastic ratings and seems to be able to do climate control and much more.

Still have no Tesla personally, so just passing this along.

Update edit - Apparently this skill is a companion to a 3rd party Tesla app also called Tessie(?). I don't know anything about the app or whether it's required to use this skill with Alexa. Read the reviews in the Amazon Alexa app when you search for this skill and you'll see what I am referring to.
 
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frankos72

New Member
Jun 30, 2021
4
0
USA
I have home assistant. It has Tesla integration. Pretty much anything that I integrate into Home Assistant pops up in Alexa withing a few hours. So I I now have access to a ton of tesla stuff through Alexa..... other than unlocking it or opening the trunk while in the garage if I left my phone in the houseI'm not sure when I might use it. But it's there and it works. Setting up Home Assistant and getting it going is not exactly ready for the public though... it's still a pretty geeky process.

For those interested, here are the docs for the integration. And here is a screenshot of the "entities" I have access to.
tesla ha integration.PNG
 
Seems sort of silly to order Alexa to turn on the climate control when I can do that through the phone app... but if I can schedule alexa to start charging at a specific time, or turn on climate control at a specific time that would be great... I am all about automation rather than voice control.

Is there a way to do this?

Keith
 

DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
2,363
1,904
Dayton NJ
Seems sort of silly to order Alexa to turn on the climate control when I can do that through the phone app... but if I can schedule alexa to start charging at a specific time, or turn on climate control at a specific time that would be great... I am all about automation rather than voice control.

Is there a way to do this?

Keith
I guess one advantage would be not having to wait for the phone app to wake up the car, then hitting the climate button. You just tell Alexa to do it and she waits for the car to wake up. Let her waste her time waiting! :cool:
 

JHCCAZ

Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
675
1,297
Tucson
Seems sort of silly to order Alexa to turn on the climate control when I can do that through the phone app... but if I can schedule alexa to start charging at a specific time, or turn on climate control at a specific time that would be great... I am all about automation rather than voice control.

Is there a way to do this?

Keith
To your first comment, personally I don't think it's silly at all to want to simply speak a phrase rather than take out the phone, go to the app, find the control and activate it. This is a pretty usual conversation regarding these voice activated assistants. Several years ago I automated most of my house including of course almost all the lighting. I remember immediately dispensing with the idea that it was cool to take out your phone and control lights from an app. Sure it was an interesting new-tech demo to show how your home is automated, but not very convenient in practice. The useful automation was from scheduled or reactive tasks, like turning on the porch light at dusk, turn on the kitchen room light when someone comes in after dark, turn off most lights when I leave the house but randomize a few for security, things like that.

The slightly later advent of Echo and Google Home type devices allowed much more ad hoc control of lights, fans etc using simple voice requests. It's become my first-choice method over flipping wall switches. You can have typical groups set up ("turn on the evening lights" or "turn off all the lights") and you don't have to interrupt anything youre doing - unless there's so much background noise or other talking that the unit can't isolate your voice (I haven't activated the capability for personalized recognition of my unique voice, which might help with that; so far it's not important enough for me to want the deeper relationship with the AI entity).

But regarding your very good question about timed events (do an action at a certain time, after a certain delay interval and/or for a certain duration):
I'd say that this is about the biggest shortcoming I've experienced so far, and it's very annoying that Alexa (and I think Google devices also) AFAIK cannot do this in a natural way. I suspect there may be some patent issues from legacy automation makers (eg Control4, Honeywell or the like). It's surprisingly hard to find a good discussion/explanation of why such basic capabilities are not supported. You can easily say "remind me to turn off the light in ten minutes" and you'll be correctly prompted, but currently you cannot say "turn off the kitchen light in ten minutes", or "turn on the kitchen light for two minutes" etc.

As a work-around, you can set up a very specific routine named "Turn on the kitchen light for two minutes" which, in use, performs that very specific action. But then not a similar action with a different light or a different time interval, nor at a specific time of day. An observer might think it understood your time-based request, but it's phony - you'd have to create a incredibly huge number of such specific named routines to have it respond to all variants, and that’s clearly ridiculous.

As yet I have no personal experience with various Tesla app(s) using Alexa, but considering the above I'd expect that you could easily pre-program a few specific recurring phrase-routines like "warm up the car at 8AM" or "get the car ready in half an hour". But again you'd be limited to the exact time value(s) in your pre-programmed library of routines. More practically, you could simply bypass the voice request method, and create a routine to have it prepare the car every weekday at 8AM with no prompting on your part.

I hope they address this serious timed-action deficiency, but as I said there must be some good explanation known to the insiders. It's one of those things where you search online for a solution to your problem, you quickly find a bunch of other people asking about the same problem, but no good answer.

Here's an article from 2019 that at least acknowledges the problem and talks about new capabilities to address it (but not really IMO).
Amazon adds new wake-up lighting and sleep timer features for Alexa-powered smart lights
 
I guess one advantage would be not having to wait for the phone app to wake up the car, then hitting the climate button. You just tell Alexa to do it and she waits for the car to wake up. Let her waste her time waiting! :cool:
From everything I have read, the first time you use a voice command it times out because it has to wait for the car to wake up first... then the second time you try to do something it works... so no advantage to using Alexa voice commands compared to using the Tesla app on my phone.

Keith
 
To your first comment, personally I don't think it's silly at all to want to simply speak a phrase rather than take out the phone, go to the app, find the control and activate it. This is a pretty usual conversation regarding these voice activated assistants. Several years ago I automated most of my house including of course almost all the lighting. I remember immediately dispensing with the idea that it was cool to take out your phone and control lights from an app. Sure it was an interesting new-tech demo to show how your home is automated, but not very convenient in practice. The useful automation was from scheduled or reactive tasks, like turning on the porch light at dusk, turn on the kitchen room light when someone comes in after dark, turn off most lights when I leave the house but randomize a few for security, things like that.

The slightly later advent of Echo and Google Home type devices allowed much more ad hoc control of lights, fans etc using simple voice requests. It's become my first-choice method over flipping wall switches. You can have typical groups set up ("turn on the evening lights" or "turn off all the lights") and you don't have to interrupt anything youre doing - unless there's so much background noise or other talking that the unit can't isolate your voice (I haven't activated the capability for personalized recognition of my unique voice, which might help with that; so far it's not important enough for me to want the deeper relationship with the AI entity).

But regarding your very good question about timed events (do an action at a certain time, after a certain delay interval and/or for a certain duration):
I'd say that this is about the biggest shortcoming I've experienced so far, and it's very annoying that Alexa (and I think Google devices also) AFAIK cannot do this in a natural way. I suspect there may be some patent issues from legacy automation makers (eg Control4, Honeywell or the like). It's surprisingly hard to find a good discussion/explanation of why such basic capabilities are not supported. You can easily say "remind me to turn off the light in ten minutes" and you'll be correctly prompted, but currently you cannot say "turn off the kitchen light in ten minutes", or "turn on the kitchen light for two minutes" etc.

As a work-around, you can set up a very specific routine named "Turn on the kitchen light for two minutes" which, in use, performs that very specific action. But then not a similar action with a different light or a different time interval, nor at a specific time of day. An observer might think it understood your time-based request, but it's phony - you'd have to create a incredibly huge number of such specific named routines to have it respond to all variants, and that’s clearly ridiculous.

As yet I have no personal experience with various Tesla app(s) using Alexa, but considering the above I'd expect that you could easily pre-program a few specific recurring phrase-routines like "warm up the car at 8AM" or "get the car ready in half an hour". But again you'd be limited to the exact time value(s) in your pre-programmed library of routines. More practically, you could simply bypass the voice request method, and create a routine to have it prepare the car every weekday at 8AM with no prompting on your part.

I hope they address this serious timed-action deficiency, but as I said there must be some good explanation known to the insiders. It's one of those things where you search online for a solution to your problem, you quickly find a bunch of other people asking about the same problem, but no good answer.

Here's an article from 2019 that at least acknowledges the problem and talks about new capabilities to address it (but not really IMO).
Amazon adds new wake-up lighting and sleep timer features for Alexa-powered smart lights

Sad to read that it isn't just something I am missing, it just isn't there yet. I know how to do a work around... silly as it seems you can program Alexa to say something at a certain time... if you have another Alexa device within hearing range you can have one Alexa say "Alexa, set charging limit to 90%" and it should work. Since the car has to wake up first before it can do anything I would probably do an information check first like having the one Alexa device ask the other device for a range check on the car, and then have it tell the car to adjust charge percent.

Keith
 

JHCCAZ

Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
675
1,297
Tucson
Sad to read that it isn't just something I am missing, it just isn't there yet. I know how to do a work around... silly as it seems you can program Alexa to say something at a certain time... if you have another Alexa device within hearing range you can have one Alexa say "Alexa, set charging limit to 90%" and it should work. Since the car has to wake up first before it can do anything I would probably do an information check first like having the one Alexa device ask the other device for a range check on the car, and then have it tell the car to adjust charge percent.

Keith
Haha, I like it, but to make your proposed Alexa-to-Alexa voice communication work, I think you'd have to have them set up on two different accounts, and that would lead to further complications.

Echo devices form a cooperative listen/respond network so that multiple devices may hear a request but they agree on which one seems closest to the voice and respond from there. (Occasionally they'll ask you for confirmation that you did receive the response from the expected device - your answer feeds some calibration algorithm for your local setup). I'm fairly sure that they also don't listen to the response from one of their own in the network. You could go to great lengths to have two unrelated Echo networks and accounts. Then you'd have to assign a different Wake word to each group's devices so they don't both respond to your initial spoken request. After all that, I think it's very possible that they also recognize Alexa's voiceprint and won't respond anyway. It'd be an interesting experiment but I'm not planning to try it myself...
 

JHCCAZ

Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
675
1,297
Tucson
From everything I have read, the first time you use a voice command it times out because it has to wait for the car to wake up first... then the second time you try to do something it works... so no advantage to using Alexa voice commands compared to using the Tesla app on my phone.

Keith
If that lost-first-command does exist as you say, then it would be very simple to create a voice-activated routine that issues a first command to the Tesla, waits an interval, then issues a second identical command. If the first one doesn't take the second one will. If the first did take (car already awake) then no harm done.

But, I get that you're skeptical about it so OK fine. I'm happy and interested to discuss further, but at the same time you certainly don't need to look for justification that you don't wish to use it. I think I'll try it out myself when the time comes.
 
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Haha, I like it, but to make your proposed Alexa-to-Alexa voice communication work, I think you'd have to have them set up on two different accounts, and that would lead to further complications.

Echo devices form a cooperative listen/respond network so that multiple devices may hear a request but they agree on which one seems closest to the voice and respond from there. (Occasionally they'll ask you for confirmation that you did receive the response from the expected device - your answer feeds some calibration algorithm for your local setup). I'm fairly sure that they also don't listen to the response from one of their own in the network. You could go to great lengths to have two unrelated Echo networks and accounts. Then you'd have to assign a different Wake word to each group's devices so they don't both respond to your initial spoken request. After all that, I think it's very possible that they also recognize Alexa's voiceprint and won't respond anyway. It'd be an interesting experiment but I'm not planning to try it myself...
Nope, I have done it in the past on the same account just to see if it would work. You need to set the device that is taking the command to a different "wake word" than you use for the rest of the devices in your home if it is anywhere near other Alexa devices for best results. The first time I did it, I had trouble getting the first device to "pause" long enough for the second device to go into "waiting for command" mode. This was when I first got Alexa and didn't know about the "wait" command. I am not sure if 5 seconds is too long for a wait or not, I will have to experiment. The way I did it back then was I had Alexa 1 say "Echo . , . , . , . , . , What is the temperature in the bedroom" and the device named Echo (Echo plus with temperature sensor) would respond. The series of comma's and period's would make the 1st Alexa device pause between saying "Echo" and "What is the temperature in the bedroom"

Keith
 
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To your first comment, personally I don't think it's silly at all to want to simply speak a phrase rather than take out the phone, go to the app, find the control and activate it. This is a pretty usual conversation regarding these voice activated assistants. Several years ago I automated most of my house including of course almost all the lighting. I remember immediately dispensing with the idea that it was cool to take out your phone and control lights from an app. Sure it was an interesting new-tech demo to show how your home is automated, but not very convenient in practice. The useful automation was from scheduled or reactive tasks, like turning on the porch light at dusk, turn on the kitchen room light when someone comes in after dark, turn off most lights when I leave the house but randomize a few for security, things like that.

The slightly later advent of Echo and Google Home type devices allowed much more ad hoc control of lights, fans etc using simple voice requests. It's become my first-choice method over flipping wall switches. You can have typical groups set up ("turn on the evening lights" or "turn off all the lights") and you don't have to interrupt anything youre doing - unless there's so much background noise or other talking that the unit can't isolate your voice (I haven't activated the capability for personalized recognition of my unique voice, which might help with that; so far it's not important enough for me to want the deeper relationship with the AI entity).

But regarding your very good question about timed events (do an action at a certain time, after a certain delay interval and/or for a certain duration):
I'd say that this is about the biggest shortcoming I've experienced so far, and it's very annoying that Alexa (and I think Google devices also) AFAIK cannot do this in a natural way. I suspect there may be some patent issues from legacy automation makers (eg Control4, Honeywell or the like). It's surprisingly hard to find a good discussion/explanation of why such basic capabilities are not supported. You can easily say "remind me to turn off the light in ten minutes" and you'll be correctly prompted, but currently you cannot say "turn off the kitchen light in ten minutes", or "turn on the kitchen light for two minutes" etc.

As a work-around, you can set up a very specific routine named "Turn on the kitchen light for two minutes" which, in use, performs that very specific action. But then not a similar action with a different light or a different time interval, nor at a specific time of day. An observer might think it understood your time-based request, but it's phony - you'd have to create a incredibly huge number of such specific named routines to have it respond to all variants, and that’s clearly ridiculous.

As yet I have no personal experience with various Tesla app(s) using Alexa, but considering the above I'd expect that you could easily pre-program a few specific recurring phrase-routines like "warm up the car at 8AM" or "get the car ready in half an hour". But again you'd be limited to the exact time value(s) in your pre-programmed library of routines. More practically, you could simply bypass the voice request method, and create a routine to have it prepare the car every weekday at 8AM with no prompting on your part.

I hope they address this serious timed-action deficiency, but as I said there must be some good explanation known to the insiders. It's one of those things where you search online for a solution to your problem, you quickly find a bunch of other people asking about the same problem, but no good answer.

Here's an article from 2019 that at least acknowledges the problem and talks about new capabilities to address it (but not really IMO).
Amazon adds new wake-up lighting and sleep timer features for Alexa-powered smart lights
Tesla should provide àn API to allow developers to create apps. Then they could focus on improving the driving experience
 
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