“VisibleTesla” an open source app created by Joe Pasqua helps ‘Tesla Model S’ owners to record the status of their vehicle’s systems along with scheduling automated commands.
Tesla Motors’ Model S is an electric driven automated car. This car is a symbol of high-tech vehicle with Internet connectivity, a 17 inch touch screen display for control console, the car even sports its own Web browser and what more it even gets regular software updates. Though Tesla has not opened up to outside programmers however some enthusiastic owners are using the REST APIs (which is exposed by Tesla to write a neat interface) for creating new codes that collects the data from the car, on the other hand the codes can get the car to do some interesting, innovative things as well.
One such enthusiast is Joe Pasqua, who is based in San Carlos, California. Pasqua has created a free open source app known as “VisibleTesla”.
In a recent interview with the MIT Technology Review, Pasqua discussed the various functions that his new app “VisibleTesla” can carry out. This app can do wonders because it can help the owners not only in tracking the status of their vehicle’s systems but also to schedule automated commands as per their requirement. Visible Tesla would allow owners to unlock the doors, control the heater and air conditioners, control the charging function of the car, open the rooftop and also gather GPS information.
This free source app is a software that runs on the PC; however by configuring it for Web access the Tesla Model S owners can access this app from the web browser which is available in the car. VisibleTesla functioning is similar to official Tesla iPhone and Android apps.
Pasqua described one function in VisibleTesla app which is useful when a person visits grocery store because it seems the grocery stores in his area have stopped providing bags. In such a scenario VisibleTesla comes handy:
“With VisibleTesla I can bring up a Google map, draw a circle around a certain area, and say, ‘Send me a text message anytime I go in that area, and here’s what I want it to say.’ So when I go to my grocery store parking lot, I get a text message that says, ‘remember your bags.’”
Well, must say this is definitely a convenient and handy function.
Due to such convenient functionality of the VisibleTesla app, it has already gathered a devoted online community wherein users share their data about their vehicles which helps other owners as well. For example, the community shares aggregate data as to how weather conditions affect the battery life. By using VisibleTesla app owners can even program their Model S to turn the heat at a specific time so that it is warm when users get in. Further, the app also has a feature to send text notifications to owners in case they forget put their cars on charging.
Pasqua further mentioned in his interview that so far his app does not have any support from Tesla; however he also added that he has not encountered any resistance from Tesla yet. Tesla’s Model S can be controlled via internet and hence has an easy access to the programmers.
It seems Edward Arthur, a semiconductor designer from southern Massachusetts, was able to write a simple code that would help him check if his battery was charging at a specific time and the program would send him a text notification in case he forgets to plug it for charging. Arthur is not using VisibleTesla and has found a method to tap into Model S over the internet.
Tesla was suppose to release a software development kit for its Model S which has not been released yet; nor are there any details as to when this will be released. So till then owners of Model S can surely rely on innovative and creative VisibleTesla app.