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The real reason for continued free internet... telemetry.

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by commasign, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    Was just thinking about today's free internet announcement. While certainly a huge perk for us the end users, the real benefit is to Tesla. Think about it. Tesla is collecting a goldmine of real-time telemetry data. Everything aspect of your Model S, charging times, range, wh/mile, HVAC settings, battery degradation, and even when and where you are driving is being collected by Tesla. They are paying for the internet anyway to upload this data so it's really not much additional cost to give us web browser, slacker, and google map access. By the time Model E is released, Tesla will be tracking 100,000 to 200,000 Model S and Model X that are actually on the road. No other manufacturer will have anywhere near this amount of data or it's level of moment-by-moment detail. This will ensure that the Model E and the Tesla Supercharger network has the edge over the competition. As long as Tesla can ensure privacy of this data, seems like a win-win for us and Tesla.
     
  2. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    A good theory. The telemetry is indeed a gold mine and will help Tesla shape their future software updates and product design choices better. It may be even more important once some of the driver assist and auto-pilot features start taking shape. I'm in the business of dealing with such telemetry - in the context of connected, online console/mobile games - and it's indeed a treasure trove that helps companies make intelligent decisions.
     
  3. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Tesla had always planned to keep the telemetry turned on, whether connectivity was free to owners or not. It's right in your purchase agreement.

    I suspect the reason is more like AT&T's pricing was such that Tesla did some calculations and determined the goodwill of free connectivity outweighed the savings of moving some small percentage of cars onto owner-paid connectivity plans. Either way, they were going to keep getting their telemetry data.
     
  4. Hybris

    Hybris Member

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    its interesting as in many countries/regions telemetry data are not allowed to leave the country if it includes PII data. not read the details but assume they have solved those issues.
     
  5. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    I think Tesla's going to wait until they have enough cars out there to really be able to bargain with AT&T.
     
  6. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    From the Q4 report, Tesla's profit margins have increased significantly in recent quarters - so bundling 4 years of free data probably shouldn't have a significant impact on Tesla's bottom line - and actually creates an interesting "feature" they can advertise vs. competitors. And this feature will be worth even more when they make the promised major software upgrade to Android compatibility, Chrome browser and the App Store - which could provide more opportunities to utilize the data connection.
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Pop-up ads while you're waiting at a Supercharger?

    "Come eat at Joe's Cafe, just across the parking lot...."
     
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Right.

    One of the great things about Tesla is appreciating that financial transactions add cost add inconvenience, and that volume lowers cost.
    The same principle is applied to Superchargers (and applied to PayPal etc).
     
  9. Rainbow

    Rainbow Member

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    Internet connectivity like most things is a double-edged sword. It can be used for good or evil.
     
  10. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Exactly. In my purchase agreement it said Tesla would use my data plan for their own telemetry reporting. If I didn't choose to get a data plan they would get their own and provide telemetry to themselves.

    I think the issue is partly due to that, Tesla gets a big 'family plan' and only pays the GB bill every month. I bet it is $3-5 or less per car. They also save owners tons of headaches.

    I also suspect that they are selling some of the travel/traffic data to Google. And perhaps Google is really the ones footing the bill. Seeing Google maps on my screen every day really makes me think they are getting my travel/traffic data.
     
  11. mpbruin108

    mpbruin108 Member

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    It is the next logical goal and has HUGE potential for advertising dollars. Advertisers are always paying more and more for targeted advertising, from cell phones apps like facebook with all those "check ins" to google and it's maps. In fact, I bet you they will partner with google maps in our cars and google ads to, in the future, use the wealth of telemetry data and the 100-200k+ cars on the market by end of 2018 (NUMMI at max capacity can produce up to 500k cars annually of the Model S, Model X and the Gen E (or 3rd gen) and focus targeted ads on where we are in real time, all the time and have little pop ups on our navigation screen or when we are parked. It's the most logical goal in my opinion and would be huge for Tesla. This is why you are seeing so many more cars come with wifi connectivity.

    Elon is a genius in so many ways.
     
  12. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I would cease to purchase Tesla vehicles based on this one idea. It would be a deal breaker. And I am actually serious.

    I would pay extra (a la Kindle) to have no adverts, but if that weren't an option I wouldn't be getting a Tesla.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'm creating a rumor that this feature will be added to the Tech Package. ;)

    While I'm at it, the Tech Plus Package will include a popup blocker. Of course, owners that pay for the Tech Plus Package will complain when they realize that the browser in the Model S doesn't have popups anyway. And some owners will also ask how much a retrofit for the Tech Plus Package is anyway.
     
  14. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    This is is completely ridiculous and nobody I know would buy a car that advertised to them.

    Any car company that did this would be driven completely by greed. Elon is not in this for the money, so why on earth would they incorporate advertising into a vehicle they already have healthy profit margins on.
     
  15. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I believe the free data is a combination of things:

    1/ 3G vs LTE - AT&T likely has excess capacity on their 3G network and Tesla was able to negotiate a good deal.
    2/ Tesla does want telemetry. In fact, their service model almost depends on it at this point.
    3/ Tesla/AT&T have not yet developed the software to 1/ charge for a data plan 2/ Maintain telemetry and nav access to those who opt-out of the data plan but block everything else. Writing this software costs money. Make it free to the consumer and Tesla can save the labor and use those savings to help pay for the data. Plus the opportunity cost- those software developers can go work on other things. Like #4..
    4/ Revenue potential from applications and targeted advertising will easily cover the costs of the data

    I understand the sensitive to advertising. If it's done wrong, it could be a disaster. But think about the number of applications we have today for smart phones that are free to the consumer but are paid for via advertising. Many of those same apps have a paid version which removes the advertising. Why not use the same model? Instead of Apple keeping 30% of everything, Tesla does.

    The superchargers represent a huge opportunity for targeted advertising that I believe can be done in a tasteful way. The NAV system will soon be able to route across the super charger network. It knows your ETA. It could easily have a detail screen that shows you the restaurants and attractions near by. Click here to make a reservation for 7:15pm - because we already know you're going to arrive at 7:10pm. Click here for a 10% coupon for the Men's Warehouse - that is only good for the next hour.

    A
     
  16. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I would happily pay extra not to have any advertising of any kind. I'm already inundated with that junk and I find most of it offensive.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    My theory - they calculated that building the billing system would cost as much as four years' subscriber fees...

    Whatever the case, it is greatly appreciated!
     
  18. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    My theory:

    We know that Tesla was going to maintain a data plan for everyone for telemetry *anyway*. We also know that, with Nav advertised as part of the car system, they have to pay to download maps to the car anyway.

    I believe that Tesla now has a year's data on how much Model S users are using the Internet for web browsing, Slacker, TuneIn, etc., and decided that it just wasn't very much. Not enough data to cost Tesla a significant amount; not enough to be worth making an effort to block it from being done on Tesla's dime. I know I use the car internet for those things occasionally, but *rarely*. The total usage probably just wasn't enough to be worth billing for.
     
  19. dpodoll

    dpodoll Member

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    My theory: Telemetry data is another profit center. They sell it to NSA
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I might download those Apps, but once I see they have advertising, I stop using them.
     

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