Owning a Tesla already makes life so much easier, eliminating the need to go to a gas station to fill up (how 20th century!), letting owners produce the energy they need for daily driving with a rooftop solar system, navigating anywhere with a simple voice command, and taking control of the car from a smartphone.
Raj is the insatiable technologist behind the YouTube channel TeslaRaj and he is constantly looking for ways to make the Tesla ownership experience that much easier. His latest video walks through the process of automating even more of the daily ownership routing using near-field-communication (aka NFC) tags and some pretty simple smartphone app connections.
This hack enables owners to open the frunk with a simple tap of the phone on an inconspicuous NFC tag mounted on the inside of the bumper, open the garage door with a quick tap on a tag on the garage door, or unlock the charging port with a tap of the phone on the charging door. Now that I have your attention, let’s jump in!
Taking a mental stroll through your morning routine, I’m sure there are some things you would like to automate, and if you own a Tesla, it is likely that these little tags can help smooth over a few bumps in your day. A pack of 25 sticker-like NFC tags is around $10, so getting started is a simple matter of heading over to your favorite online tech marketplace and picking up a pack.
Raj’s solution does come with one sizable caveat in that it only currently works with a handful of the latest Apple smartphones that support reading NFC tags as a background task. There are workarounds for this in Apple’s universe with some of the other NFC-compatible devices, but low-energy NFC allows for the integration without all the fuss or battery drain.
Specifically, these NFC tags (here are the ones Raj used) work best with the iPhone XS, XR, 11, and 11 Pro. It is likely that these life hacks can also be implemented in the Android universe, but for now, the solution only exists in this limited segment of Apple’s universe.
To get started, install the Stats app from the Apple app store. It’s a bit pricey in the world of mobile apps at $19.99, but offers a ton of new functionality for your Tesla that many will find worth the price. Skip a few lattes, eat at home instead of going out, or do whatever budgetary gymnastics are required because this app is a must have for Tesla owners looking to automate and streamline their lives.
You’ll also need Apple’s free Shortcuts app that dumbs down the app-connected goodness popularized by If This Then That for iOS users. From inside Shortcuts, all that’s required is a quick setup of the new automation task.
- Click the + sign to create a new automation (in the upper right corner)
- Next, create a personal automation
- In the next screen, scroll down under settings and select NFC to create a new automation based on an NFC input
- Scan the NFC tag you want to use to trigger the automation
- After the iPhone has recognized the tag, give the new tag a name
- Select the task you want Shortcuts to perform when the tag is scanned
- Select Add Action
- From the Apps screen, select the Stats app
- Select the action you want to perform
- Save the action and you’re all set
- Click Done to save the new automation
That’s it! The process outlined here can be used for far more use cases than just opening the frunk or opening the garage door through the Stats app. The world of automation powered by NFC tags and a smartphone is just getting started and Raj did a great job of showing the world some of the possibilities.
Have you automated anything in your daily Tesla routine with your smartphone? Share your tips in the comments below!