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AT&T Lives In Tesla Vehicles


Unbeknownst to most of us, the “connected features” in the Tesla Model S come courtesy of AT&T. While the partnership has existed for awhile, it was just announced to the public last week.

This is what’s behind Tesla’s infotainment screen, what allows Tesla to track its cars, and what allows Tesla to roll out software updates without having to actually see or touch the cars.

From Amex Konrad of Forbes:

Tesla drivers with makes that include a modem and distinct embedded SIM card can connect through AT&T for real-time data via radio signal, safety diagnostics and other stats on driver habits and usage. Every Tesla with an infotainment screen offering applications like weather and Internet browsing is also running on AT&T, Chris Penrose, senior vice president of emerging devices, told the crowd at GigaOm Mobilize.

Users may already be aware that Musks’ firm can track their driving habits and usage due to a high-profile spat the serial entrepreneur had with a New York Times reviewer in Feb., when Musk said an unfairly poor review of Tesla’s Model S sedan cost the company up to $100 million. In that situation, Musk released data logs on his blog of the reviewer’s driving in an attempt to discredit the Times report.

It seems now that such data is being collected through AT&T machine-to-machine (M2M) solution, which provides direct connectivity over 3G and 4G connections, but not 4G LTE, the high-speed connection capability currently popular for new wireless devices like phones.

For more, read the full Forbes story.

Notably, AT&T has a bit of a bad rap due to NSA controversies. However, it also has a reputation as a “green” company and actually dropped its support for the Heartland Institute due to the Heartland Institute’s out-of-touch climate change policies and projects (why it ever supported the Heartland Institute is another story).

Keep an eye on all the hottest EV news by obsessively monitoring our EV news archives or subscribing to our free EV email newsletter.

For related stories, check out:

  1. Tesla Model S Is Safest Car Ever Tested, Sets New Safety Records (Tesla Releases More Info)
  2. The Tesla Model S Is Almost Maintenance Free
  3. No Injuries In Tesla Model S Fire — Contained In Front Trunk, As Designed (& Putting This Fire Into Perspective)
  4. Tesla Slams NYTimes Reporter For Lies, Ignorance, & Doing Completely Illogical Things To Run The Model S Battery To 0

Photo Credit: bluepoint951 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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