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Turning off 3G / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Connections?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by n00b, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. n00b

    n00b Member

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    Hi all,

    I've searched the forum but was not able to find related info. I was wondering if it is possible to switch off the 3G / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connections (perhaps the keyless entry component as well) either through the touchscreen or a hardware jumper/switch (like the "airplane mode" on mobile phones or disabling WLAN on a wireless router)? This would be very helpful when carrying electrosensitive passengers or if the car is in an area that requires no such signals be transmitted.

    Also, does anyone know whether these transmission antennas are located? Another concern is possibly health related as the car (not limited to Model S but most modern cars; not my 2001 Prius though :)) may function like a Faraday cage. If antennas are inside the cabin, a lot of radiation will be bouncing around inside the metallic cabin before escaping through glass, creating radiation hotspots (not enough to heat anything up, but experimental evidences have shown that prolonged elevated exposure to rapidly pulsed EM do affect biological processes at the cellular level).

    Thanks.
     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    OK, stop and think about that for a minute. Ignoring the debate about whether such transmissions are harmful to your health, if the cabin acted like a Faraday cage do you think Tesla would locate the antennas inside it? Given that Tesla knows a think or two about electronics, I'm pretty sure you have nothing to worry about and the antennas are external to whatever Faraday Cage the cabin may present.

    On an interesting side note, the plural of antenna is antennae when referring to insects, but antennas when referring to TVs, radios, and electronics. Discuss amongst yourselves. (I'm getting vaclempt!)
     
  3. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    I wouldn't fly in an airplane if I were you then...
     
  4. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I think I'd be more worried about the 320,000 watt electronics box than the Bluetooth... I am, though, worried about neither. ;)

    I have heard about those places where no electronics are allowed (near sensitive radio observatories, etc). I wonder if Model S could even be driven there. Don't some of them go so far as to require diesel cars that don't have spark ignition?
     
  5. ADN_ModelS

    ADN_ModelS Member

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    I think a more reasonable reason to ask this question is if you don't want to be tracked. I know that Telsa won't give out your location to "anyone", but they certainly would to law enforcement with a search warrant. If you were in a situation where you were being pursued by the police (but innocent, of course... think "The Fugitive"), it would be a necessary requirement to be able to turn off 3G/connectivity.
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've had OnStar for years and so have gotten over that fear :)
     
  7. n00b

    n00b Member

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    Interesting fact. Thanks.

    It is true radiation exposure level is greater at higher altitudes, but the amount of time spent inside a car is probably close to two orders of magnitude greater.

    But I think the motor is located outside the cabin, no? Also, the frequency of the PWM is probably in the kHz range, not in the GHz range for cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. As well, EM emanations by the motor/inverter do not contain encoded information. I actually brought instruments to measure the electric/magnetic fields of Model S during a Get Amped test drive, but the test drive was way too short and I did not have the chance to be a passenger to carry out the measurement.

    To me there are 3 major areas to be concerned of:
    1. Privacy - location, usage data, etc. Cell phones aren't really "off" when turned off.
    2. Health - WHO has classified mobile phone radiation as a possible carcinogen. But even if it hadn't, it would be prudent to err on the safer side.
    3. Security - If the browser and/or the firmware of the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi components contain software bugs, they become vulnerable to attacks and/or unauthorized access. In closed-source software, regular users mainly rely on the vendor to provide security updates. It may be the case that vendors take a long time to respond or not respond at all, and, when this happens, users should have the option to "switch off" the offending components.
     
  8. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

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    I'm going to try hard not to sound too glib or cavalier but you have got to be kidding me! If you are seriously concerned about your own EM exposure and/or routinely transport "electrosensitive passengers" then you should seriously look elsewhere, this is clearly not the car for you. I think it is safe to say that there is not another car on the planet more packed with electrical equipment than the Model S.
     
  9. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    You might be getting too complacent about being tracked.

    A new “feature” that is being promoted by Ford is their SYNC technology which will report your driving habits to Allstate Insurance.
    They claim that you can get a discount on your insurance for good behavior. Do you really believe that is the true motive?

    For that reason I won’t patronize Ford or Allstate. This practice is unacceptable and far too invasive for me.
    Once the data is compiled, there is no way to know who will buy, sell, steal or partner with them to use your information.
    There are companies out there now that match up your credit cards with your shopping rewards cards, sweepstakes entries, public records etc., etc.
    It’s really out of control.

    Next are they going to track how many trips through the fast food window to raise healthcare insurance rates?
    Are they going to monitor how often you stop by the liquor store and cancel your car insurance just because they feel they don’t want to take a risk on you?
    How far off is a feature where your car will start sending you speeding tickets? That will save money on photo ticketing cameras.
    They have much more to gain than the consumer does.

    I want to retain my independence and autonomy and have the ability to switch off the GPS, wireless etc. any time I please.
     
  10. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    Apparently Allstate calls this technology "Drive Wise" and it appears that they will be happy to add it to older cars too.

    Here is an article about it:
    Allstate Insurance Tests Usage-Based Program on Employees to Make Everyone Safer Drivers - Automotive News

    Excerpt:

    "Drive Wise works like this: You plug a little sensor into your post-1995 model year car’s onboard diagnostics port, and you let the car record your driving habits, logging in online to see how your likely over-aggressive, multitasking driving skills stack up to everyone else’s. Allstate gives all its drivers a 10-percent discount just for doing that."

    :scared:
     
  11. jerry33

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

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    Oops, you went two miles over the speed limit on 8/19 for five seconds. No 10% for you.
     
  12. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Probably using the MSP's full acceleration would get your policy cancelled promptly, even if you weren't speeding. I strongly prefer outcomes-based underwriting, please.
     
  13. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    They would cancel me if I used it!
     
  14. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    On the plus side, Dennis Haysbert certainly has the voice to play Big Brother. :)
     
  15. Jin Kazama

    Jin Kazama Member

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    I just placed a pre-order on a Renault Zoe and it's equipped, as many electric cars, with a cellular connection (2.75G though, not 3G) and constantly linked to Renault.

    While some people might think it's great, I don't. I don't wanna be tracked, I don't want anyone to know my habits "because they can" and if Law enforcment think I need to be tracked, they would place a tracker on my car anyway. I just don't agree with this "everyone is preemptively tracked/tapped" policy (This is the same reason I don't carry a cellphone all the time, I seldom use credit cards and I run my own email server...)

    I had a look at the Leaf and you can simply disable the telematics module by removing the SIM card - the cellular part might be still online though... (And I didn't get a chance to try to run the car with the telematics module unplugged). The other option it to check where the antenna connector is located and simply unplug it - sometimes a single antenna carries differents signals. I you'd want to keep GPS and FM radio signals, you'd need to build a stop band filter blocking the frequencies used for cellular communication (or a Passband that only allows wanted signals).

    This is the 1st thing I'll do when I get delivery of my car - my privacy is more important that remote maintenance and gadget features such as remote heating, tablet apps etc. (this is a car, not an iPad - and if I'd like to use a navigation, I'll simply install an offline app...)

    Concerning renault ze vehicules, I also know they can remotly disable the car (it's always been technically possible but renault implemented it!) - currently, they only disable the car for people who stopped paying the lease. I'm pretty sure in a few years, they'll disable cars following government requests, at fist because you're a criminal, then because of license suspension then because you forgot to pay a parking ticket. I won't even start to talk about potential pseudo data-leak problems (your driving habits uploaded and sold to insurance companies without your knowledge etc.)

    I know, I'm getting paranoid... How couldn't I? When you see what happened the last 10 years...
     
  16. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Remote disable, eh?
    I'd imagine that turning off connectivity would also be useful if you were planning to steal a Model S, but I would expect that if Renault has thought about this then other carmakers have as well.

    Has anyone asked about "Remote Security" at a Tesla Store?
     
  17. Jin Kazama

    Jin Kazama Member

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    With Renault EVs, the battery is on lease (no choice - you can't buy the battery). If there is ever a problem with the payment, and the problem is not solved, they remotely brick your car until you pay...

    I'm waiting for aftermarket batteries to replace the leased one - the battery is 22kWh, I'm pretty sure we'll get unofficial 30kWh+ batteries by next year :)

    If you want to steal any expensive car (many of them have 3G connectivity, GPS etc.), you get a jammer and you're done... (expensive cars with GPS, security and onstar like services are still being stolen even though it's "impossible"...)
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    People have asked and the answer appears to be that "Find My Tesla" is possible but it would have to be approved on a case by case basis at the executive level. Presumably it would be even harder to get the car disabled. I think both features would be useful should someone steal the car.
     
  19. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Yeah, I'd like the option to turn on "Find My Tesla" just like I have done on all our iPads and iPhones. Also an option for remote locking/unlocking and car disable/enable would be very nice along with front and interior cameras that always record and can be viewed remotely. I'd be willing to pay quite a bit extra for such cameras and options including storage for a few hours of video.
     

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