The Tesla community is growing at a fast pace and that will only accelerate when the Model 3 launches. There are more and more third party products for the Tesla as well as many third party apps.
Previously, I reviewed the Remote S and ConnecTT third party apps for the Tesla and I’ve looked at several more. Most of the third party apps out there take good portion of what Tesla makes available through their undocumented/unofficial API and wrap a nice interface around that. Teslab is different and new and exciting look at the future of the connected car.
How I got involved
I’ve open sourced some software for Tesla and SolarCity and developed my own tools and scripts and even launched a full-blown EV Road trip planning website with EVTripping.com, but I’ve also volunteered help to several up-and-coming sites, product ideas, and apps when the opportunity has come along. Teslab (formerly TeslaTracks) is one of those.
With most of these apps, I’m just a power-user with a background in software development and provide feedback and guidance where it makes sense. With Teslab, it developed into something larger and I’m actually now contributing to the project and it’s been a lot of fun. The team is moving fast, they have HUGE dreams of what Teslab will be and they’re super-passionate about Tesla and are also fantastic Engineers.
What is Teslab?
In their words:
Our goal with Teslab is to build the very best companion application for you and your Tesla. We believe a car of such awesomeness deserves an equally awesome piece of software to go along, we hope you share our vision.
Tesla is an app for iOS and Android that tracks all your Tesla activity (driving, charging, phantom drain, etc.) and presents it all to you in a beautiful easy-to-use design.
But, Teslab also goes beyond that in making the whole driving experience social.
With Teslab you see other people’s drives and trip efficiencies and can compare their results to your own. You can follow people, compete for badges, become the mayor of a Supercharger and even get placed on the leaderboard and become famous.
Teslab helps you keep tabs on your charging speeds, battery use and more:
Teslab Controls your car
I can’t speak too much about the future vision for Teslab in this area, but Teslab will be different here too. Right now Teslab provides some of the basic controls that are used most often and more will be coming in the future.
Teslab is first about collecting your information and providing it to you in a useful, meaningful way. Second Teslab is about sharing that experience with other enthusiasts. Finally, Teslab is about the basics of unlocking your doors, turning on the climate control, etc.
What about security?
Like all apps today that talk to your car, Teslab uses the undocumented/unofficial Tesla API. When you first launch the app you’re required to provide your Tesla.com email and password so the app can authenticate and talk to your car. The app does not store your password, but stores a token to use for future access.
Unfortunately, the Tesla API doesn’t allow you to place restrictions on the API access, so, like all other third-party apps for Tesla, you’re providing full access to your car for the app which is how the magic happens.
Teslab also requires you to authenticate with either a Twitter or Facebook account which is used for some basic information like a profile photo. More login options will be available in the near future for those that shun those networks.
Once you’ve logged in, by default, all your trip information is public to share with the community. If that isn’t your style, head over the the profile settings tab and flip the privacy switch. While the folks building Teslab believe trips and Teslas are more fun when you’re sharing with others, they respect and understand people’s need for privacy too.
How to get Teslab
Teslab is currently in beta on both iOS and Android systems and in use by Tesla owners around the world. Teslab supports international units (metric or imperial) and temperature (C vs F) and picks up those settings directly from your car.
You can sign up for the beta at the link below and the first version of the app should go live in the app stores in the not-too-distant future.
I’m a data junkie and love all the data and information that Teslab presents. It’s fun to see how my trips did, how my efficiency varies by day and weather and I love comparing the results to others. I’m addicted to Supercharger badges and I’m planning on ruling the Northeast with my little kingdom of mayorships.
Teslab is beautiful, it’s fun, different and it elevates the driving experience. It’s been great to be a part of the team building it and we’d love to have more people join in and share their thoughts and ideas with us.