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Phone App: Please TM put all the fob features into the app

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Getting Amped So, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Getting Amped So

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    With all the issues surrounding the fob, including dead batteries and cracking plastic, I just wish TM would put all its features into the mobile app.

    Here's why:


    1. My phone is PIN protected, the fob is not. If the fob drops out of your pocket near your car, your S might not be there when you get back. It's not less secure to use your phone to access/drive your S, it's more secure.
    2. TM can add new features to the mobile app with ease (like driver profiles), but updating thousands of fobs seems challenging.
    3. It's one less thing to carry around, and I always have my phone and it's always charged. Heck it will have a 60 kWh battery!
    4. Bluetooth can be used to handle the proximity awareness issue. Maybe fire up the Bluetooth polling five minutes before you plan to approach the car so the Bluetooth battery drain isn't occurring all the time. I'll already be using the app to precondition the car anyway.
    5. I can give car access to other family members without having to give them a fob. How many people with teenage kids have had them lose things? They are more likely to lose a fob than their phone.
    6. It costs something like $350 to replace a fob (so I've been told).
    7. I'll bring a fob along for valet parking, taking the car in for service, etc.

    I already use my phone to do my banking, buy online and in stores, check-in for flights, and many other things. I want to add "Access and Drive my Model S" to that list.
     
  2. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I agree, I would love to get rid of the key fob and just use my phone.

    I want to send addresses to the nav system from my phone or my PC.
    I want to send URLs, web pages and notes to the browser in the car from my phone or my PC.

    I want to see the energy screen and trip meters on my phone or PC.
    I want to download energy use, trip meter data, and charging history data on my phone or PC.
     
  3. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    Would it be cool maybe to provide remote access to the cars screen? Like Citrix Gotomypc? Or other proprietary remote software?
     
  4. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    Here here! Excellent ideas! Make it so Tesla!
     
  5. aaronw

    aaronw Member

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    The latest version of Android (4.2) added the support for doing the remote screen.
     
  6. Steph_S

    Steph_S CAN #312 VIN P06173

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    #6 Steph_S, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
    Expanding on what has already been said, I would like to be able to remotely lock the vehicle using my phone with a PIN, in case someone steals a fob. That way, if someone enters the car with the fob, you would have to type a PIN on the car's 17" screen before the car will turn on. Or perhaps temporarily deactivate a fob. Similar to Apple's "Find my iPhone" remote locking feature.
     
  7. ahimberg

    ahimberg Member

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    the only way your phone is more secure than the fob is if you require unlocking your phone every time you want to unlock your car, that would be more annoying than the security benefit of dropping your fob. or if you don't require the phone unlocked, someone can steal your phone instead of your fob... Although your phone may have the advantage of remote wipe, IF the thief doesn't pull out your SIM right away.
     
  8. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Overall I agree with you, thought I wouldn't use the phone as a key (turning Bluetooth on/off would make it more of a PITA). Also, I don't use a PIN on the phone (those things are easy to get around, no?). And if I had kids, I wouldn't set them up with app access--there're things there (or that might be there in the future) that I wouldn't want them messing with.

    But like I said, overall: yeah, I'd like to see more on the app, including the things the fob can do. There are other reasons that kinda flexibility is good to have, beyond just phone-as-key, methinks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Great idea!
     
  9. Getting Amped So

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    #9 Getting Amped So, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
    Well I plan to use the mobile app to precondition my car, and I want the app to have a Ready Time feature. Five minutes before the defined ready time the app starts the Bluetooth polling and acts just like a pocketed fob when the Bluetooth connection is made. From that point on it's just like having a fob in your pocket. I already use PIN security for my phone so the process may or may not depend upon a PIN entry - depends on when I last used my phone. Plus I enter my PIN in 1.0 seconds.

    It's more secure than a fob. My phone is PIN protected anyway (10 wrong tries and the phone is wiped), and If my phone gets lost or stolen I just change my My Telsa password and the app is disabled. As soon as they stop the car it's disabled. Not so if the thieves have the fob and the car.

    Those who want to continue to use their fobs can. I just think they are outdated and redundant.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A four-digit pin has 10,000 possibilities. My phone wipes itself clean with 10 wrong tries. You wouldn't have to turn your phone's Bluetooth off and on - you leave it on all the time like you do now. The app would need an Admin (you) to login on the other phone (your kid's), and you could turn off access to all the other features.

    It's no different than having a big fob in your pocket. If you want to roll down windows or pop the trunk you take it out. If not (and you have the Tech Package) - you don't. Actually I don't think you even need to pre-access the mobile app to make this work, as the car and phone are already paired with a secure connection. Make the ability to set the car's Bluetooth PIN part of the My Tesla computer access. That way if the phone is lost or stolen you just change the car's BT PIN and now the phone is not paired and the car won't start. The big fob is just like the small fob, except more secure and less easy to lose or misplace.
     
  10. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    My phone is much more secure than my fob, PIN or no PIN. If I misplace my phone, I can find it by dialing it. I don't misplace it because I am addicted to it and constantly use it. It is very rare that I don't know where it is for more than a few minutes - whereas the fob may spend an overnight or weekend in a pocket.
     
  11. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    I was thinking of things like cracking by hooking up to a computer, or using, what is it, a heat sensor or whatever to tell where you are tapping/swiping most often (though if you change your PIN regularly, the latter wouldn't matter, I guess). But maybe I misread some stuff about PINs on phones a while back.

    Regardless, for me it seems like it'd just be more of a hassle--but I'm in favor of the option, regardless. ;-) I like options and flexibility.
     
  12. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    I think this is a good idea. As mentioned above, Bluetooth would just run all the time. I think the latest Bluetooth stacks allow for much easier ad-hoc pairing; I have a Nike Fuelband that immediately links up when I hit the sync button on the band, I don't have to touch the phone at all. Same deal for various headsets. However, there's some potential issues:

    - Bluetooth can be temperamental. It just is. I don't think I have a single BT device that works flawlessly every single time. Maybe it's just me.
    - Depending where the BT chip is in the car, you'd have to be very close for it to unlock based on proximity, if, indeed, it works at all outside the car. I would guess it does, all my other car annoying steal my Bluetooth connection when I walk by them
    - aside from Bluetooth, what happens when you're in a no cell area? Then you are 100% reliant on Bluetooth. Is that any more or less reliable than the key fob? Maybe not.
    - if/when local wifi is enabled, that would likely be a much better option than BT
    - Maybe Tesla thought ahead and built in NFC? Would be a useful option, at least as a backup.

    I've no issues using my phone for this stuff, I use it for everything else, including arming/disarming the house alarm, plus all the usual stuff with banking etc.
     
  13. NielsChr

    NielsChr Member

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    great idea, i'm on - only problem I see is if the phones battery are drained - then you might not be able to go into the car (where you can charge your phone)
     
  14. Getting Amped So

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    I agree, but the fob batteries seem to die quickly and (by definition) unexpectedly, and I've read mixed reports about the "put it by the windshield" method success rate. At least with your phone you have feedback on the current battery state and plenty of experience with how long it lasts.
     

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