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Vendor TesLender - A service designed for owners renting out their Tesla - Feedback thread

Discussion in 'Model S' started by SeBsZ, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    #1 SeBsZ, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    Hi everyone,

    I've been working on a website + app that fills a small niche in the market, so I'm hoping to find the right people here who want to help me.

    I've realized there are quite a few people who lend or rent out their Tesla to other people. I do the same, and am often faced with the same question whether they can use the official app to control the vehicle. I usually tell them no, because I don't want to give them access to my Tesla account. Some people have multiple Tesla vehicles and by giving them access to their official Tesla account you're giving them access to all your vehicles.

    I've aimed to solve this problem by recreating the official Tesla app. You'll be able to let people control most of the functions of your vehicle - except you remain in control. You decide when their access should expire, and you can remove access at any time. Please note that during development my #1 priority has always been security, and I've implemented all sorts of techniques to ensure all communication and data is handled securely. (Secure cookies, techniques to prevent session hijacking, expiring JSON web tokens and of course HTTPS enforced everywhere).

    There is an app for Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslender.app) and iOS (‎TesLender). Details for beta-testing are further down this thread.

    Looking for iOS beta testers! Join the TestFlight beta here: Join the TesLender beta

    I highly recommend people are extremely cautious whenever you are asked for your Tesla login details!

    Steps
    1. The owner of the Tesla vehicle(s) signs up for an account at Teslender | Easily lend out your vehicle. . I explain very clearly how your Tesla login details are handled. I 100% understand not wanting to provide me with your Tesla account details but there is no other way for me to communicate with your vehicle. The important thing to remember is that your Tesla account details are never stored but only used to get an access token from Tesla.com. All access tokens are invalidated as soon as you change your Tesla password on the official Tesla website. If you know how, I've also provided an option to provide an access token yourself. I recommend the email/password method for ease of use, but for your own security I would suggest the token method. I do not store your Tesla password anywhere, but assuming you don't believe me remember that I can not drive away with your Tesla with just an access token. With that in mind providing an access token is safer - no matter which website you use.
    2. After you sign into your account your vehicle(s) will be listed. You'll be able to see some basic information about it/them and you can click on the Sharing tab to create share codes.
    3. Anyone with an Android device can download the app through the Play Store (Teslender - Easily lend out your Tesla vehicle - Android Apps on Google Play) , it's possible you may need to opt-in to the beta program through this link Sign in - Google Accounts). If you have an iOS device you can get the app from ‎TesLender or join the TestFlight beta program to help me test new features: Join the TesLender beta
    4. Sign into the app using the Tesla vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (found through the car's center touchscreen, on the windscreen and various other places) and the share code that was created in step 2.
    5. You'll now be able to control most of the vehicle's functions just like in the official app, but without needing to enter your Tesla account details.
    6. The app will stop functioning when you remove their share code through the website, or when the code expires.
    Here's a quick explainer video that attempts to explain the purpose of TesLender:



    Current app functions
    • Persistent notification showing the car's range, speed, battery percentage, charge rate, and state (parked, driving, charging)
    • Separate notifications when someone starts or stops charging
    • Enable climate control, see internal and external temperatures and set the temperature to a value
    • Lock and unlock the vehicle
    • Honk and flash
    • Open trunk and frunk
    • Vent the roof, and close the roof
    • Battery range and percentage
    • View location
    device-2018-02-26-200010.png device-2018-02-26-200036.png device-2018-02-26-200100.png device-2018-02-26-200111.png

    Coming soon
    • Access control. Give some users access to less functions.
    • Set a charging limit that the driver can never exceed (eg. 90%)
    • Ability to delete your account (if you need your account deleted, just let me know by email)
    • FAQ on the website coming soon
    I'm still thinking about a business model, but until I'm happy with a business model and the way the app and website performs it'll be free.

    Privacy
    • Privacy policy is on the website. The server is located in The Netherlands, Europe, not the USA.

    Feedback

    I'm looking for feedback, feedback, suggestions, bug reports and feedback. Please tell me how I can improve. There are a lot of things I've already thought of that just need some more time. You can email me at [email protected] or by replying in this thread. Let's keep the feedback constructive please.

    This should work on Model S, X and 3 - but I don't have an X or a 3 to test with so I might need to tweak some things.

    Many, many thanks

    Sebastiaan
     
    • Like x 4
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  2. Airhawker

    Airhawker Member

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    Cool idea
     
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  3. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Hey, thanks - I really appreciate that. Were you one of the ones who gave it a try?

    I've added Frunk and Trunk buttons to the app as well as to the persistent notification. Remember that although this service is aimed at people who rent out their Teslas, it is also useful to owners who don't. Without opening any app you can quickly see what your Tesla is doing (driving, charging, sitting) and open the frunk or trunk quickly:

    device-2018-03-26-214732-small.png

    Let me know if there are any Wear OS (Formerly Android Wear) users who would like to see these buttons on their smartwatches!

    I'm also trying to find out how much demand there is for an iOS version of this app.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  4. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Thanks to several testers who signed up, I've now been able to fix some bugs related to the displaying of older Model S cars with the nose cone fascia, as well as the display of Model 3 vehicles.

    I've also fixed bugs related to which buttons are displayed with regards to charging (open charge port, unlock cable, etc.), whether ideal or rated range is displayed and the temperature can be set in Fahrenheit now (based on your car's preference).

    I've also added the age of the data that is shown at the bottom of the app:

    device-2018-04-18-110012.png

    Special thanks to @JohnnyG!
     
    • Like x 2
  5. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Since my first post here I've added several new features, mainly thanks to 2 beta testers. I am really hoping for more testers, as I believe my service can be extremely useful to many. However, I fully understand people wanting to be cautious when giving out your Tesla username and password or access token. In fact, I urge people to be cautious. Until Tesla adds a better authentication system for third-party apps, this is the only way my service can get access to your vehicle's data.

    I've added open trunk and frunk buttons to the app, as well as to the notification:
    Screenshot_20180522-213748.jpg

    I've also added the ability to set a charge limit:
    Screenshot_20180522-213653.jpg

    I'll soon add more features to the website:
    1. to allow controlling your vehicle's functions through the web interface.
    2. to allow you to set a maximum charge limit value so users can not exceed a charge level (say 95%) to protect your battery
    3. to allow you to pause TesLender's data collection so your vehicle can go to sleep.

    If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. I hope that, together, we can make TesLender useful to at least a small group of people in the world! Thanks everyone.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. RobsEV

    RobsEV Active Member

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    Since a few days I'm beta testing this app and it's working as good as the original app but you can give an other person temporarily access to your car and kill it at any moment.

    It would be nice to provide SeBsZ with new beta testers because with different hardware you can have small issues.
    I've had also some memory issues with my Moto which was solved quickly by SeBsZ in a new release of the app.

    A nice feature compared to the original app is that you can see the interior and external temperature.
    It is to bad the car is not always communicating this data.
    This is probably because the car goes into sleep mode.

    A nice feature would be to have a wakeup button.
    Also the actual map could be added with actual speed.
    Further nice to haves would be an actual and historical energy consumption.

    This would make the app better than the original and therefore preferable to use over the original Tesla app.

    Hopefully this will motivate others to become testers as well and lets make this the best Tesla app on the market.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Any suggestions? Maybe I should rebrand the app and add features to appeal to more users?

    I have also been exploring the option of creating a web-based version of the app - the idea was that that would make it multi-platform so that iOS users could also use it as well as desktop users. Unfortunately the notifications that TesLender provides (charge state, charging started/stopped, etc.) are not supported in browsers on iOS - so that's very unfortunate.

    I'd love to hear suggestions. Are there simply not a lot of people renting out their Tesla on platforms like Turo? What would you like to see to start using the service?
     
  8. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Hey everyone,

    Special thanks to the new testers who recently signed up!

    Just wanted to announce that I've added a simple toggle button to the website to easily disable or enable tracking. Disabling tracking makes your vehicle save power by allowing it to go into sleep mode. Obviously tracking needs to be enabled for the TesLender app and website to function correctly and to get charging notifications, so don't forget to turn it back on when you need it.

    [​IMG]

    More good news is coming soon regarding the iOS app development. Let me know if you are waiting for this!

    Thanks again everyone for helping with testing. You're always welcome to leave feedback and suggestions.
     
  9. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    Interested in iOS version. Most important feature is notifications to the noob driver that the charging is almost finished to avoid idle fees.
    How about offering simple renter guides in the app like How to pair your phone and How to share an address etc
     
    • Like x 1
  10. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Good suggestion regarding the renter guides! The charging finished notification is already present, the "charging is almost finished" isn't in there yet because I don't know the supercharger stall occupancy, to determine if it is at least half full. Of course I could just choose a percentage and have it notify the user when that charge state is reached, regardless of whether or not the supercharger is more than half full? Would that work for you?
     
  11. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    Nice, I have been looking for something just like this. Wish I had heard about it months ago.
     
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  12. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    I've had the thread up here since March, it just isn't getting much attention. Let me know your use cases so I can see if there is anything I can do to improve the service.
     
  13. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    I was just referring to the one we already get in the Tesla app.
     
  14. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    I just signed up... I"m going to let my next renter know about it and see if they are interested.
     
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  15. DominicG

    DominicG Member

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    Hi Seb, I love this idea! I'm a new Model 3 owner and I just listed my car on Turo. I created a Teslender account and gave it a quick try. I have a couple of suggestions for you to consider:

    1) It was difficult to create a share code, because I got an error when using the wrong date and time format. It would help if you just show an example of the required date and time format next to the input text box. I tried using US format (MM/DD/YY) but it didn't work until I watched the video again carefully to see that you used a standard european format (YYYY-MM-DD).

    2) It would be great to have access start date and time as well as expiration date and time so I can start the renters access at the beginning of their rental period, but allow them to get logged in ahead of time. That way they wouldn't be able to see location and other information on my car until their rental starts, but they could install and set up the Teslender app with the share code before leaving their home.

    3) Does the Tesla API allow you to update your app so that it can set up a phone to be a key (with the same temporary access code) for the Model 3? Currently I can only do that by logging into the official Tesla app with my credentials on the renter's phone...

    Thanks very much!

    Dominic
     
    • Like x 1
  16. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Hi Dominic, these are excellent suggestions, thank you so much. I'll get these done asap, I'm currently working on getting the iOS app finished first though.

    Your third suggestion regarding the key, I don't think I can do this. This can only be done using the official app. I can add a function to TesLender that would allow a renter to start the car just like you can do with the official app (with the 2 minute countdown) but this is something that only works when the car and phone have an active internet connection so it's pretty risky. A car could get stuck in an underground car park for example. There is no way for me to do this using Bluetooth as far as I'm aware, I'm hoping Tesla has that part locked down securely.

    I think for Model 3 owners your best bet is to give renters the key card in combination with the TesLender app. That way you don't have to give anyone official app access.
     
  17. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    On iPhone I have a shortcut “drive Model 3” which lets me get going without using Bluetooth (as long as there is internet) which takes advantage of another app’s Shortcuts integration. I’m sure you have a lot on your plate but Shortcut hooks will be a major selling point.
     
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  18. DominicG

    DominicG Member

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    Thanks Seb. I think just the Teslender app plus the key card will work fine. Apparently there will also be a key fob eventually so renters won't need to deal with the key card.
     
    • Like x 1
  19. SeBsZ

    SeBsZ Former Vendor

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    Hey everyone!

    I'm ready to start a small beta-testing round for the iOS version of the app with whoever wants to help test. For now you need to have an iOS device with iOS 10+. Other than that, all devices should work but tablets are untested and probably won't look good.

    Testing is done using the official Apple TestFlight app. You just need to download the TestFlight app and get an invite from me. If you want to test, send me a PM with your Apple ID email address and I'll send you an invite to the latest version. This is rapidly developing.

    Of course to test you also need to have one or more Tesla vehicles (S, 3, X) and have created an account on TesLender.com | Easily lend out your vehicle. (read first post here for details).

    There are still some limitations compared to the Android version:
    1. Notifications only when you start and stop charging, and soon when charging is nearly finished
    2. Climate on/off only for now, no temperature setting yet
    3. No battery limit setting yet
    4. Location works, but no speed info yet
    5. No about page

    Thanks for helping out! Keep your suggestions coming, I'm listening to all of them.

    0x0ss.jpg 0x0ss (1).jpg IMG_0004.jpg
     
  20. BigTonyTones

    BigTonyTones Member

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    Well this is quite a clever idea . Nicely done
     
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