Get home from work, unlock the door, turn off the alarm system, turn on the heat, pre-heat the oven… all just a part of the daily grind. What if rather than doing all of that when you walk in the door, you could do it on your commute – or better yet, not at all? As our ability to connect devices and allow them to interact increases, so does the flexibility and efficiency of our lifestyle. And all of these interactions – and the potential for so much more – are made possible through the Internet of Things (IoT).
The connected car can now count itself as one of the key players in this new connected world. Tesla continues to be driving vehicle interconnectivity, bringing down the physical and communication barriers that once separated driver, home, car and office. Now, through the power of the “Internet of Things,” your Tesla can act as a digital trigger: starting actions and alerting you to going-ons in all aspects of your life – with and without any input from you.
How is the connected car linked to the connected home?
Essentially, your Tesla can be connected to your home in two ways.
First, as a “trigger” to initiate an action. For example, your car can interact with your house to trigger automatic responses based on its proximity. Let’s say you arrive home from work. Your Tesla can tell your smart home you’ve just arrived, and your home can jump into action by opening the garage, adjusting the thermostat, turning on the porch light and maybe starting up your favourite tunes on your stereo (unfortunately it can’t pour you a drink – yet.)
Second, your Tesla can receive messages or “options” as they’re known. What would happen if the smoke detector went off and no one was home? By the time you found out, it might be too late to act. But with the option to receive alerts from connected home alarms, your Tesla can inform you and ensure fast response in the event of an emergency.
Notifications can go beyond just emergencies, of course. Currently you can be informed when your favorite sports team wins a game, or when your teenager arrives home (assuming they enter the house through a connected door or window!) As new notifications are developed, they’ll very likely become available to exchange between your Tesla and your home.
What could a person with a connected home/car combination do when they arrive home?
The connection of your car and home has interesting implications for streamlining and simplifying your life. As soon as you arrive home, your Tesla can spur technology into action. Everything from adjusting the temperature of your home to unlocking the door — minor tasks we take for granted could all become much easier and fully automatic. Not to mention the fact that these automated actions can help save energy, and reduce your carbon footprint.
And what’s possible for you will only continue to grow. As the technology and connectivity of the Internet of Things expands, so will the convenience it affords. From preheating the oven for dinner when you’re 15 minutes away to triggering the kettle to boil you a cup of tea, your connected Tesla has the potential to make your life easier and more efficient.
How can the connected car/home help with family?
One thing many Tesla owners will find value in is how their car can augment interactions with their families.
First and foremost is peace of mind. If your school-aged child is at home, the last thing you want to be worried about is whether or not you locked the door when you left. Your connected Tesla can make sure this is automatic — and not something forgettable.
There’s also an application for seniors who may be vulnerable to falls. Your connected car can sync with fall-alert devices so you can keep a close eye on your parents and take quick action in the event of an accident.
Beyond these security measures, a connected car can make your family life easier. Just think — you’re juggling groceries, your kids and your work bag in the pouring rain. The last thing you want is to fumble with your keys at the door for any length of time. Of course, when it unlocks automatically as you pull in the drive, this ceases to be an issue.
And what about those reminders from your spouse? No longer do they manifest as an easily-misplaced piece of crumpled paper. Now you can get notifications to pick up milk on your way home, so you don’t have to say “sorry” for forgetting. You can even have your Tesla let your family know you’re on the way home using SMS or email, so they’re not worried when you’re late.
What does the future hold for connected cars and homes?
Even twenty years ago, no one could predict the connectivity we would be able to achieve in our lives now. As technology progresses, we can only guess at its future applications.
Currently, connected home devices run the gamut of the usual suspects (lights, doors, windows, alarms, heating/cooling systems). Entertainment systems (TV, stereo) are also well represented in this class. Connected switches and outlets offer the possibility of connecting even unconnected devices (currently my Christmas tree lights are connected through such an outlet – and my four-year old can ask Alexa, Amazon’s connected home assistant, to turn them off and on.) Even major appliances have gotten into the mix with connected refrigerators. Although they can’t yet inventory your existing groceries, you can use them to start a shopping list, or order more ice cream.
That said, we’re already identifying gaps in convenience and efficiency. As video technology improves, its being applied to mundane tools like the doorbell. You can now video chat with the person on the other side from anywhere in the world, and this potential could extend to your car too.
More video applications are on the horizon as well. Monitoring pets and young children is increasingly becoming a priority for homeowners. Soon, this will be possible from the convenience of anywhere, and anytime.
Services like IFTTT exponentially increase the potential for interactions between connected devices and services, through the simple use of the formula “if this then that”. IFTTT enables hundreds of products and services to interact with each other through this simple formula. With your connected Tesla, you can use this to do things like get notifications of important emails, automatically keep and vehicle use log, even have your Tesla send emails and text messages for you.
All in all, the future looks bright for Tesla owners seeking a connected, convenient, and efficient life!
EVE for Tesla
Although Tesla Motors’ vehicles can manipulate garage doors and even park themselves, Tesla owners looking to connect their smart home, or enable connected abilities such as those mentioned (above along with many others) will want to check out Evolved Vehicle Environments EVE for Tesla.
EVE for Tesla currently connects to about 30 different devices with support for over 500 devices and multiple smart home platforms coming very soon. It also integrates with IFTTT allowing you to connect your Tesla in thousands of different ways to hundreds of products and services.
You can check out Teslarati’s review of EVE for Tesla here.
What about your connected car and the rest of the world?
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the potential for connected city infrastructure. We’ve had lights that change based on traffic for a while, and transit signal priority lights – but neither of these needed the Internet of Things to work. But a connected city can do more than just change lights – with a system of connected infrastructure you can see how it would be possible to reroute traffic in the event of an emergency, or redistribute traffic to ease congestion. And it could do it all automatically – by communicating with the cars that are traveling within it.
Connected cars communicating directly with each other also have significant implications for traffic and safety. Similar systems used on trains allow those trains to travel more closely together, increasing the number of trains capable of being run on a track over a specified period of time. Hypothetically the same should be possible for connected cars. Enter emergency vehicles into the equation and it may be possible to speed up emergency response time, and potentially save lives.
In our next post we will continue to explore connected cars and the Internet of Things, and how autonomous vehicles may change the way we live.