Elon Musk Confirms Future Tesla Update to Include Apple Watch Support

Authored By Not a Tesla App Team

Tesla App on Apple Watch concept by Naher94

Tesla is finally preparing to unveil support for the Apple Watch and potentially Android wear devices. It’s unclear whether smartwatch development has been ongoing or if the Tesla team was informed simultaneously with the public. Despite numerous previous requests, Elon Musk recently replied to the request with a simple “Sure.” Musk has a strong track record of delivering on commitments he has casually agreed to on X/Twitter. Some instances include adding WiFi garage door support, a glovebox PIN feature, turning off mirror auto-dimming, among others. When Musk responds to these requests, they are likely already on Tesla’s product roadmap.

The era of worrying about your phone losing battery and not having your key card might be nearing a conclusion. X user @dani_elle831 shared a scenario: “well it finally happened. my phone died & I got locked out of my tesla thankfully the massage place let me use their phone & hubby unlocked it from his phone not sure why the car can’t be unlocked using an Apple Watch or other smart watch. any chance this could be incorporated @elonmusk?”

Phone Key Support on Watch?

One of the key benefits Apple Watch and Android Wear support could offer is the ability to utilize your watch as a vehicle key. It’s ambiguous from the post on X whether this will be included, as the post simply discusses unlocking the vehicle without a functioning phone. It could signify having comprehensive key support on your watch, or merely being able to unlock and start the vehicle over the internet as currently possible through the app when out of Bluetooth range.

Having ‘phone key’ support would be ideal, ensuring seamless operation without needing an internet connection, though Tesla’s intentions are unclear. Tesla hasn’t incorporated Apple’s CarKey support and is unlikely to do so at this point. Nonetheless, Tesla might integrate phone key support similarly to how they support it on iPhones and Android devices.

Phone key utilizes Bluetooth to unlock the vehicle when nearby, and Tesla recently introduced ultra-wideband support, bringing even greater precision to phone key. However, ultra-wideband is only compatible with newer devices like the iPhone 11 and later, select Samsung Galaxy 21 devices and later, as well as specific other models. It also necessitates a newer Model 3, Cybertruck, or Model S/X with these sensors built-in. Regrettably, the previous-gen Model 3 and the current Model Y lack ultra-wideband support.

It’s worth noting that the Apple Watch has supported ultra-wideband since the Series 6, including the new Ultra models. Hopefully, we’ll witness full phone key support via Bluetooth and Ultra-wideband, but regardless, we seem poised to finally unlock the vehicle from our smartwatches in some capacity.

From Widgets to Watch Support

Tesla added lock screen widgets to the iPhone back in 2022

Tesla introduced lock screen widget support on iPhones in app update 4.14, and it’s probable to see these same lock screen widgets on the Apple Watch and potentially on Android Wear devices. Tesla has two lock screen widgets displaying relevant vehicle information. The larger widget shows the vehicle’s remaining range, name, and a charge level progress bar. If you own multiple Teslas, you’ll have to choose which vehicle is shown, though you can have multiple instances of the same widget. There’s also a smaller widget showing just the vehicle’s charge state. Both would integrate well as ‘complications’ on the Apple Watch.

Smartwatch Support Anticipation

Another concept of a Tesla app on the Apple Watch by @niccruzpatane

We’re unsure of Tesla’s development plans, which could range from a complete Tesla app for smartwatches offering access to most app commands like charging, unlocking, starting climate, setting charge level (as depicted in the concept above), and potentially full phone key support. Alternatively, it might be a streamlined app introducing watch widgets for accessing vital commands and vehicle information like range, unlocking, and initiating a charge. Smartwatch support has been long overdue, and even if Tesla opts for the latter, it’ll be a valuable addition.

Other Manufacturers

Tesla’s venture into smartwatch apps is a positive move but surprisingly somewhat behind the competition, a deviation from Tesla’s software prowess. Companies like Porsche, BMW, Dodge, Toyota, and Ford have already implemented smartwatch support with a variety of features such as remote engine start/stop, lock/unlock doors, car locator, vehicle status, and parking meter assistance.

Timing is Everything

Tesla contemplating a smartwatch app arrives at an interesting juncture, closely following Apple’s discontinuation of its electric vehicle project, which would’ve directly competed with Tesla. It’s likely coincidental and potentially more related to the recent ultra-wideband addition, offering significant improvements in energy use and accuracy. More details should be forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Authored By Kevin Armstrong

New Cybertruck Locking Differentials

Similar to 90% of trucks and SUVs, most Cybertrucks will likely never venture off-road. Nevertheless, Tesla is laying the groundwork for a significant enhancement that promises to boost its off-road performance for the select group of owners who might take the Cybertruck for a bit of adventure. This feature will be included in an upcoming software update, as confirmed by the leading Tesla Cybertruck engineer.

Upcoming Update

Historically, the purchase of a vehicle came with a fixed set of features, with any upgrades necessitating physical alterations. However, Tesla has transformed this model by introducing software-defined vehicles.

Tesla’s Cybertruck is undergoing intensive testing to seamlessly integrate locking differentials. Wes Morrill, Lead Engineer for the Cybertruck, revealed that the team is experimenting with both mechanical and electronic locking systems for the rear axles, slated for activation in an upcoming software update. The early testing of this feature in the Cybertruck suggests that its release may be imminent, pending successful testing.

The Functionality of Locking Differentials

In vehicles, a differential enables wheels on an axle to rotate at different rates, crucial for turning. However, in off-road scenarios, this can result in a wheel spinning freely if it loses traction, limiting forward motion. Locking differentials address this by forcing both wheels on an axle to move at the same speed, ensuring power is directed efficiently to the wheel with better grip, enhancing off-road capabilities.

Drivers can engage Locking differentials manually or automatically, adapting to changing traction conditions dynamically. Tesla’s Cybertruck is expected to feature electronic locking differentials, leveraging electromagnets or solenoids controlled by the vehicle’s software. This allows precise, adaptive adjustments to driving conditions, ensuring optimal traction across various terrains.

This technology signifies a significant advancement in vehicle design, blending mechanical strength with digital intelligence. By autonomously detecting and responding to traction requirements, the Cybertruck’s locking differentials will provide drivers with an unparalleled off-road experience, showcasing the fusion of software solutions with traditional automotive mechanisms for enhanced performance.

Authored By Kevin Armstrong

Roadster Vs Nevera Soon!

The electric hypercar industry is witnessing the onset of an incredible hypercar rivalry. Up for contention is the title of the fastest production car globally, which also happens to be electric. In one corner stands the reigning hypercar champion, Rimac’s Nevera. In the other corner awaits Tesla’s upcoming Roadster SpaceX Edition.

The Clash for Hypercar Dominance

Elon Musk’s recent late-night disclosures have hinted at a next-generation Roadster that defies traditional automotive norms, particularly with mentions of rocket thruster-enhanced performance propelling the car from 0-60 mph in under one second. His posts garnered significant attention, including engagement from Mate Rimac, CEO of Rimac Automobili.

..it is possible with thrusters. We did the simulation… – Mate Rimac

Rimac is a pivotal figure in the hypercar sector, renowned for merging high performance with electric propulsion. When queried about Tesla’s ambitious acceleration claim, he provided technical insight with a blend of real-world pragmatism. His assessment isn’t just theoretical; it’s grounded in the practicalities of engineering and physics governing high-performance vehicles.

Quick but Heavy, Light but “Slow”

Rimac acknowledged the feasibility of Tesla’s goal, highlighting thrusters as a viable means to surpass traditional acceleration benchmarks. However, he emphasized the inherent trade-offs, noting the substantial weight of the necessary equipment—tanks, compressors, valves, and nozzles—which, while aiding initial acceleration, become dead weight after that.

Rimac also pointed out another drawback: “Plus, the car has to be super light as otherwise, you can’t create a lot of excess downforce with the fans as the tires would be overloaded very fast with any kind of car with “normal supercar” weight, especially electric. And then again, you are carrying the weight with you when you are not doing 0-100. So thrusters are really the only way to go. But it brings a lot of downsides as well.”

Nevera, priced around $2.5 million, dominates with over 1,800 horsepower and its record-breaking feats, including an astounding 0-60 mph time of 1.74 seconds and a 0-400 km/h sprint in 21.31 seconds. When Nevera posted these incredible figures, Musk was asked if the Roadster could surpass the times and responded with “lol.”

Beyond the Metrics

Rimac’s recognition of the technical challenges associated with Tesla’s approach doesn’t diminish the potential impact of the Roadster. Instead, it adds credibility to the discourse, anchoring it in the realities of automotive engineering. It underscores the balance between speed thrills and the practicalities of vehicle design and functionality.

This exchange between Tesla and Rimac marks a crucial moment in the EV industry. Tesla’s pursuit of the ultimate performance EV with the new Roadster places it in direct dialogue with Rimac. The latter has consistently pushed the boundaries of electric hypercar performance, and this interaction highlights a broader theme in the automotive realm: the relentless pursuit of innovation, where companies like Tesla and Rimac not only compete but also draw lessons from each other.

With both companies poised to innovate further and redefine possibilities, the rivalry between Tesla’s Roadster and Rimac’s Nevera extends beyond a speed contest—it symbolizes the tireless drive for innovation propelling the electric vehicle industry forward. The Roadster is set to commence deliveries in 2025, likely starting its journey on the track alongside a Nevera!

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