Elon confirms 4G in all cars

Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere, but at 48:40 into the 2012 Shareholder Meeting Elon says "...bit of course all cars come with 4G connectivity"

Hopefully that puts the "is it 3G or 4G" debate to bed.

I wish they didn't include it. Instead, they should provide plenty of USB connectors and software drivers. That way each owner could buy whatever USB dongle is appropriate in his/her area. It would also make the 3G/4G easily upgradeable. During the lifetime of the car the mobile data standards will probably change a number of times.

There should be a small compartment somewhere in the car with lots of USB 3.0 connectors where we can plug in our wireless mobile dongles, WiFi dongles, hard disk drives, digital TV receivers and whatever we want. Running them would be a job for the main computer and software plugins.

Elon made it very clear that he wants to be able to maintain software updates on the card remotely and so he's not going to leave it up to chance that you don't attach a dongle to your car in order to keep it updated.


If he wants to remotely monitor my car then who is going to pay for that 4G. Not me. The car can call home when it logs into my home wireless or work wireless (which does connect in the parking garage). I typically drive a car 15 to 20 minutes a day at most. It's not worth a $30 data package just so Tesla can check on my battery usage inside that 20 minute driving window.

So my actual take is all cars come with the capability of 4g if you purchase that service.
Have to ask one of the SIG owners who recently sign contracts if they are required to purchase a 4G data plan for the car or does it just come with it or is it optional.

Here is a thought. My company gets a discount because of the large number of phones they have service plans on and they offer those deals to the spouses and families of the employees. (One large company family plan if you will) I wonder if that is how Tesla is setting this up and after X numbers of years you are on your own.

Have you ever considered that Tesla might be using something like Amazon's "Whispernet"? That would be a way to have the car phone home without burdening additional cost on the owners.

All I've read here is from people complaining that this beautiful car might only have 3G. Now 4G is announced and no one seems happy.

Well, I am.

Oh, and thanks nickjhowe for finding it. I listened to the annual meeting but missed it.


Hang them with a new rope and you'll still hear them complaining :-)

A little off topic - Has there been any discussion about I.T. security for the Model S? Whether we have 3G or 4G, the last thing we need is some kid in Shanghai "updating" the software for the drive inverter while we are trying to pass a semi on a crowded 2 lane highway :)

My expectation would be that the software couldn't be updated unless the Tesla was plugged in. Updates would be done over WiFi only (and probably fixed to a MAC address or at least a particular ip-address) not 4G (that could use all of your data plan in one update). The 4G connectivity should be just to get metrics.

This would be similar to upgrading your iPhone. You can't make calls during the upgrade.

I am happy with the current set up. However, the hard drive, on board memory, connectivity area, really should all be easily accessible so that they can be easily upgradable by the end user as a plug in following opening a compartment door. High capacity flash drives are going to come down in price and this is one way to "future proof" a vehicle one is planning to keep long term. For myself, it will be my last vehicle purchase and I hope will last me into my 90's and beyond!!!

+1 Ohms.Law

+1 Ohms.Law

Given my moniker, you might imagine that I specifically asked about the computer security, and you would be correct. The Tesla rep (DC) was of course told to tell you it is safe and I would expect it has been addressed in some fashion, but it is still not clear exactly how they are securing various systems (which may be for the best at this stage).

@Ohms.Law You are welcome.

I do not want updates on WiFi alone. I have no wifi-coverage anywhere I normally park and don't want the hassle of setting up an access point specifically for the car. So updates on 3G too please. My plan has a 6GB per month limit and I never use more than half of it. I might actually get rid of my ADSL alltogether and only use 3G at home.

You get 6GB per month? Man, I want your plan! :D Sadly, I don't think anyone offers that in my area, unless I go with Sprint which is true unlimited, problem is their signals around here are very unlimited! :(

4G was confirmed to me by a Tesla Information Rep in Menlo Park about a week and a half ago (June 1, I believe). She also mentioned that we could use our smart phone data plan "hot spot" for linking the car to the web while driving (i.e. when not in a local wi-fi hot spot, we could use our phones' wi-fi hot spot and 3G/4G capability). This would, of course, require the "hot spot" data plan that most carriers charge separately. The upside here is the incremental monthly cost of this hot spot is less than purchasing a "4G hot spot dongle". The downside is that the car won't be able to connect to the web while on the road unless a phone is equiped with "hot spot" (i.e. if the wife drives the Tesla and she doesn't have hot spot capability in her phone).

Personally, I'm thinking about purchaing a hot spot device and not using my phone as a hot spot. I would normally keep it with my S, but when I'm not using it and driving one of my other 2 cars, I would move it whichever car I'm driving so my family can have internet connectivity in all our cars (just one at a time).

My logic is that if I have to pay $50 to $80 per month for additional 4G capability, I don't want it to be "stuck" on the Model S - I want to use it in any car that I'm in. Also, expanding my cell phone service to hot spot requires that I be in the car - if I'm traveling on business, my family will be without, so it's more flexible to have a stand alone hot spot in my case.

If the car needs a data plan to function normally as every other car with a GPS does without data, this would be a serious let down.

I do not want to pay for data plan for my car this is just silly. Wifi Hotspot so I can use the display to search for data ok.. but typical gas, hotel, food, attractions, etc. should be in the GPS with no wifi needed. Traffic should also not require data.

If Tesla wants to put 4G in the car so they can provide updates, etc. Ok. But dont charge me for it.

I also do not want them saving data about where or how I drive this is only a liability and provides no benefit for the cost.

No mention of data plans with the MVPA (purchase agreement). My guess is they are still working on this...

I specifically asked the rep in Los Angeles about all this. He told me, at the time, it was likely first that customers would need to opt-in to have their car monitored wirelessly which suggested that there would be some free connectivity to the car for Tesla's use. btw- if you don't opt-in then they cannot warn you about battery issues or low charges (think bricking).
I had a very in depth discussion about the bricking issue and although it still remains a possibility in the S, it is unlikely because of safe guards they have added. Monitoring is one of them, though not new to TM car owners.

The rep also said TM isn't likely to provide owners with free connectivity. No shock there. You will have to purchase some type of plan to get a connection, but there would be a way for TM to monitor (opt-in) the car without you having to bug a plan.

Questions remain though. What about Apps that require connectivity. What about something like google maps? That too right.
I already have Sirius/XM and I have the app with the digital connection and was planning to pipe that through my app to the car, avoiding the need for connectivity, but alas I know that owners will need connectivity for other things in all likelihood.

This is yet another issue that TM just happens to be skating by on without letting its customers know what the options are. With cars arriving, shouldn't all owners be informed?

Perhaps we will find out in order to get your car in 2012, you also have to order a data plan. Probably...just cause they can. Wouldn't surprise me.

I already have two cell phones (one work and one personal) and I don't mind using the personal chip in my Model S instead of paying for another plan. Hope I can do that? Otherwise my Model S is definitely within Wireless network ranges at both my work and home garages!

EDIT: Above I wrote "here are very unlimited!" but should have written, "here are very limited!"

Meh, I'm going to probably buy into whatever plan they have. The simplicity of having it built into the car would be worth and and I'm likely going to use a ton of data streaming music all the way to Portland and back. Also, my wife's likely going to be driving it and she's not big on having to connect things when she gets into the car.

If it really is 4G then I expect that my wife will also use it to keep up the steady stream of Facebook into her brain on those previously mentioned trips North and back.

What about something like google maps? (Scwins)

Long time ago, Tesla said they would use Google maps, and enhance it with a cache that downloads maps in advance, covering the Model S' range. This would mean that having online (WiFi) connection where you charge would be sufficient to use Google maps. I don't know if this concept is still current in the production model.

sadly, there's no 4G in germany, as I know! (

Whity Whiteman, that's not entirely true. We do have 4G (LTE) in some areas already, and more will soon be covered. The German LTE standard is not compatible with the American standard, but I don't see why Tesla wouldn't equip cars sold in Germany according to the German standard.

There's an article about Apple in the NY Times ( ) that, among other things, states:

"Just last week" Google "said it would allow Android users to download and store maps on their devices so they are viewable without an Internet connection"

Allowing a large cache on the Model S to take advantage of this feature is all that's needed. Looks like Google is helping Tesla get it done.

I just hope we end up with something larger then a 300GB hard drive because after music, it's not much! :)

Google maps already caches map areas. I've been using it for a while..... although I have not tried to create a route without being online. I think the nav part will still require internet connection but you save on data because the huge map is cached. Once created the nav does not need internet unless you change it or the app crashes.

4G pre-paid for the first year to Signature customers per George's blog today :-)