The Tesla Model 3 comes with an integrated 4G connection, meaning owners can connect to their car from anywhere in the world.
The owner’s app will open the car on approach – they can also open the vehicle remotely (as well as flash the headlights and sound the horn) provided it’s parked.
If an owner or fleet manager wants to allow someone else to drive it, it’s quite possible.
The app enables any authorised account holders to see the car’s position and speed, internal temperature and battery charge levels.
They can also set maximum speeds or limit it to speed limits.
The vehicle is covered in cameras and sensors, both to aid driving (it has a lane-holding capability and collision warning systems) and to record conditions.
Owners can opt to share anonymised footage with Tesla to help inform vehicle development including safety features and autonomous driving.
In-car navigation maintains a database of roads and road rules and connects to live traffic information.
It also provides live information about the Tesla supercharger network, connecting with live battery information to automatically provide route plans which include any required charging.
The superchargers connect to – and automatically identify – the car on connection.
Charging is seamless and charged to the account holder on completion.
The ‘ecosystem’ includes solar roof panels and a battery; the ultimate goal is to create a system which connects homes and vehicles to the grid enabling solar generation, vehicle charging and power storage, all playing a role in the decarbonisation of both transport and energy.
The final element of connectivity is over-the-air software updates.
This means the car’s software code can be upgraded throughout its lifetime.
Most modern cars have about a million lines of code – everything from engine management systems to any non-mechanical elements of driving.
Inevitably, there are occasional glitches and cars are sometimes recalled by manufacturers to update software that is working incorrectly – for instance GM recalled vehicles because the airbag software was not functioning correctly, and the high-profile ‘Dieselgate’ was a result of software programmed to mislead testing sensors.
Where reprogramming is required, over-the-air software updates can achieve it without returning the vehicle to the dealer.
Tesla over-the-air software updates have increased the range and performance of all Model 3s in circulation by 5% by reprogramming elements such as the regenerative braking more than a year after the model was launched.
Read the full feature on How connectivity is changing the motoring game from the Smart Transport Journal