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The equivalent of OnStar?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by S-2000 Roadster, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. S-2000 Roadster

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    Does the Tesla Roadster have the (basic) equivalent of OnStar?

    I'm not familiar with OnStar since I don't own any vehicle that comes with it. I remember that there is a button that can be used to call a service, and I know the Roadster does not have any voice capability. But what about the remaining features? Provided that the GSM is enabled by the owner, will Tesla Motors know if there is a wreck? airbag deployment? Is there Stolen Vehicle Tracking like LoJack? Does Tesla Motors receive odometer updates along with their battery information?

    Is the Tesla GSM based on CDMA?

    Obviously, the Alpine system provides turn-by-turn navigation through its independent GPS.

    I realize that the Roadster certainly does not have 100% of the OnStar features, but I still wonder how many of the other features are within its capabilities.
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Tesla can ping the car to query its GPS, if it is stolen. They have already "rescued" at least one car that way.
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Only if you've got the GSM turned on.
     
  4. S-2000 Roadster

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    I think that LoJack works by having the vehicle transmit a radio homing beacon that Police can use to triangulate on the vehicle. I wonder how much difference there is in the difficulty of finding a vehicle, comparing the two technologies.
     
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Well, The Roadster requires both a GPS signal to locate itself and a cell tower signal to send it's location. It's quite easy to park the car somewhere it can't receive a GPS signal (parking garage, warehouse, etc). Though assuming the car still had cell coverage the police could ask the cell phone provider to triangulate and give them a general area that the car is located but it's not very precise. With LoJack the car itself emits a radio signal that can be picked up by the police and guides them to the car. Not sure if LoJack also has a GPS/cellular component as well.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    So could a thief make a car cover Faraday cage to foil all the above until they get it apart or on a boat?
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Maybe, but a slot is as good as an antenna, so it would probably radiate around the bottom of the car.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    From what I've heard, car thieves will take the car to a vacant lot somewhere, and leave it for a few days. If it's still there when they come back, they figure it's safe from being tracked.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    That certainly would be easier... :)
     
  10. S-2000 Roadster

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    That's exactly what they did to my CRX Si. Well, actually, they found an apartment complex with a vacancy and used the assigned covered parking stall, which happened to be on a hidden alley between the normal city streets. Basically, they only moved my car 0.6 miles from where I parked it, and yet I had no hope of finding it without LoJack. The existing tenants just thought they had a new neighbor ... that is, until the next weekend when the car was torn apart.

    Quite a testimonial for LoJack, when thieves have to work around it whether you have it or not. Supposedly, LoJack installations are so difficult to detect that the only choice is to park in a sequestered area and come back later. If the car is gone, then there was a LoJack. If it's still there, then it's probably safe to finish ripping off. By the way, word on the street is that some chop shops were shut down because a few car owners were willing to play the waiting game and leave their car unreclaimed long enough for the police to track the vehicle back to the criminals main base. Supposedly a lot of shops were shut down. This tactic wouldn't have been very successful in my case, though, because they did their work in this makeshift 'garage' instead of at a central location.

    The reason I started this thread is because I've learned some hard lessons about car alarms and stolen car recover systems. The Tesla Roadster seems to have a decent alarm and a decent recovery system (nothing is impervious to a Faraday cage, and many garages can serve as a Faraday cage without much effort). I really don't need the OnStar voice features, I just want to stop thieves and get my car back in the event of a theft. Actually, I don't think it would be possible to steal a Roadster without a flat bed, but I could easily be wrong (another hard lesson waiting?).
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think it would be very hard to steal a Canadian Roadster without a flatbed, due to the immobilizer. (A few years ago they made them mandatory for new cars in Canada.)

    I don't know if Tesla has started using immobilizers in other markets, but it would be a good idea.
     
  12. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

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    It's quite easy, unless the immobiliser uses a PIN system. Just break into the owners' house and steal they keys.

    Or so I'm told.
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    They've got to be able to find the keys first! :wink:

    It's not a good practise to leave spare car keys out in the open, when you're not at home...kind of like leaving the wife's good jewellery in the jewellery box (use the jewellery box for the costume jewellery...hide the good stuff)
     
  14. Fabrizio

    Fabrizio Member

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  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Wow, that's huge.

    I switched to the MicroMirror because of that exact problem -- seeing cars at four-way stops. There's no way I'd install one of these things. I'd need the OnStar to report an accident caused by this thing.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The Tesla Tattler can also report the GPS location. On an iPhone (and probably others as well) you just tap the position it gives you, and it shows you on a map where the car is.
     

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