VisibleTesla App Provides Desktop Control of Your Tesla Model S

The VisibleTesla app provides monitoring, control, and scheduled events for Model S owners.

Elon Musk has hinted in the past that the Tesla app eco-system will take shape sometime in late 2014 which will allow app developers to provide value-added services and features for Model S owners.

Imagine an app that could automatically prime your car to the perfect cabin temperature each and every morning before you get in.  Those who live in snowy and wintery conditions can schedule the defrosters to activate 15 minutes prior to their departure. Imagine an app that would allow you to set various charging schedules based on time and day of week.  Do you need to charge at work every day between noon – 2pm and then resume charging from 11pm onwards when at home?  The good news is that we won’t need to wait until 2014 to see some of these use cases come to fruition. Community supported VisibleTesla app does everything that was described and more!

ALSO SEE: Tesla Charging Etiquette: SuperchargerQR App, Paper Note and Google Voice

Unlike the official Tesla Model S app which is purely mobile based, the VisibleTesla app is an open source desktop app put together by Model S owner Joe Pasqua.  The app looks to change the way owners interact with their Model S by providing useful real-time monitoring and scheduled control of their car.

Where can I get it?

Download VisibleTesla (release notes)
Tip: The app is bundled into a zip file which requires Java to run.


The login requires use of your official account.

VisibleTesla App


Basic vehicle state about the vehicle and provides access to commands like locking and unlocking, operating the panoramic roof (if you have one), flashing the lights, etc. These screen shots show the overview tab reflecting various states of the car. The second screen shows an information dialog that gives details about your car. That dialog is displayed in response to pressing the “Details” button.

VisibleTesla App Overview


A temperature slider allows the user to select a specific target temperature for the vehicle. Unlike the car’s internal controls, rather than clicking the up or down arrows to increase or decrease the temperature, the user simply moves the slider to the desired temperature. When the car is in Celsius mode, the slider ranges from 18 to 27 degrees and has steps at every half degree (18, 18.5, 19, 195, etc.). When the car is in Fahrenheit mode, the slider ranges from 65 to 80 degrees with stops at every degree. VisibleTesla displays the numeric temperature corresponding to the slider position in real time as the slider moves.

This tab also displays the current interior and exterior temperature readings when they are available. The vehicle does not always supply this information. If no temperature readings are available, the tab will display “…” in place of the reading. It is not known when the vehicle decides to provide temperature readings and for how long. It is the case that if you activate the HVAC system, the readings will be made available and will remain available for an indeterminate period after the HVAC system is turned off.

[Source: VisibleTesla Overview Guide]

VisibleTesla App HVAC


The Charge tab shows the charge state and allows you to set the charge target and to start or stop charging. The slider allows you to specify how much charge you want the car to get.

VisibleTesla App Charge


The Location tab embeds a Google map to show the current location of your car with a marker. The marker is rotated to show your car’s heading. There is a “Browse” button that will launch your default browser displaying a Google map with the car’s location so you can get directions or perform any other Google map function.

[Source: VisibleTesla Overview Guide]

VisibleTesla App Vehicle Location


The Trips tab allows you to view previous trips that have been captured by VisibleTesla. The app looks at stored location information and breaks the data up into separate trips. Your drive to work in the morning would be one trip, your drive home at night would be another.

The tab displays a calendar and allows you to select the day or days that contain the trips you’re interested in reviewing. When you select a day (or range of days), a drop down list is populated with all of the trips in that time span. Select any trip and click the “Map It” button.

[Source: VisibleTesla Overview Guide]

VisibleTesla App Vehicle Trips


This tab tracks and graphs basic statistics about the vehicle as a line chart. The x-axis represents the time at which the stats were gathered and the y-axis represents the values. An “Items” drop down list allows you to select which statistics are displayed. It also gives a color-coded legend to so you can tell which line represents which value. If you deselect a particular item it will not be displayed, but the statistics for that item will continue to be gathered.

Note that these statistics are only collected while VisibleTesla is running and only after you view the Graphs tab at least once.

[Source: VisibleTesla Overview Guide]

VisibleTesla App Energy Graph VisibleTesla App Map


VisibleTesla includes a very basic capability for scheduled activities like charging your car or turning on or off your air conditioning. For scheduled events to be executed, Visible Tesla must be running. That is, if you schedule your vehicle to turn on the HVAC system at 7:30AM so that your car is warm by the time you get to it at 7:45, then VisibleTesla must be running at 7:30AM to issue the commands. The screenshot below shows the Scheduler Tab.

VisibleTesla App Scheduler




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