Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa can already play music, order items directly from the company’s online store, answer basic online search questions, and dictate today’s weather. And now, with a lot of finagling, it can remotely control a Tesla.
Jason Goecke was frustrated by the lack of an open API to tinker with Tesla’s software, so he took a weekend to rig his own prototype and the result is the ability to pull his Tesla Model S out of a garage by simply asking Alexa.
It’s an impressive feat and one that Goecke, founder of Cisco-owned Tropo, envisions a lot of handy uses for.
“Imagine the day I could ask Alexa from within my house to get my car ready,” Goecke writes in a post explaining the technology. “The car pulls out of the garage and adjusts its settings to my preferences based on the weather, opening my sunroof and windows on a nice sunny day.”
He admits there are still some security issues that prevent him from keeping this function on all the time, such as his kids calling on Alexa to pull the car in and out of the garage all night while he sleeps.
But this hack speaks to a larger point that Tesla should release an official public API to take full advantage of the talented programmers out there. As Goecke puts it in his post, “All the technologies are already here, it’s stringing them together just right.”
Pulling a Tesla Model S out of the garage could be just the beginning. There are tons of open APIs out there that could be connected both to Alexa and Tesla to make for a range of helpful and lavish features.
Imagine asking Alexa if your Tesla has enough charge to make it on a round trip to Grandma’s house by talking with Google Maps. Perhaps an on-board Tesla camera could directly post photos and videos to social media by asking Alexa. Could a Tesla even some day autonomously go pick up groceries, dry cleaning, or a prescription just by asking Alexa and communicating with a third party super market or Walgreens app?
The possibilities are endless, but we won’t know until Tesla opens up the platform.