Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Australia's Telstra becomes connected cars partner for Tesla Model S

Iain Morris
December 18, 2014
Australian telecoms giant Telstra is to provide connectivity for Tesla’s Model S car in the Australian market.
The tie-up represents the latest in a series of connected car agreements between Tesla (Palo Alto, CA, USA) and major telecoms operators and will see Telstra (Melbourne, Australia) provide mobile connectivity to support a range of M2M services, including the infotainment and remote diagnostics systems.
John Chambers, the executive director of Telstra Mobile, said that connected car technology would help to improve road safety, reduce the cost of maintenance and expand in-car entertainment and information options.
“Increasingly technology is becoming top of mind for Australians choosing new cars and by 2025 we expect 90% of new vehicles sold in Australia will come ready to connect to a mobile network,” he said.
“Our network will enable Tesla Model S owners to access live information via the Model S’s giant 17-inch touch screen that controls everything from the suspension, to the climate control through to the sun roof,” he added. “Drivers and passengers will be able to use the Telstra network to stream music, pull up high-detail maps and navigation, and access near real-time traffic updates.”
Taking advantage of Telstra’s network technology, Model S owners will also be able to use a special app to remotely control features in their vehicles.
“Using the Tesla app, owners can check the progress of their vehicle’s charge, turn on air-conditioning remotely before hitting the road and even unlock doors without using a key,” said Chambers.
Besides providing drivers with near real-time information about their vehicles, Telstra is also connecting the remote engine diagnostics system, which can relay information about the car’s performance to Telstra staff.
Telstra says the remote diagnosis technology can help Tesla to detect and address faults without having direct access to the car.
Telstra claims to be the “natural partner” for automotive companies looking to bring connected car technology to the Australian market.
The operator’s mobile network currently covers more than 2.3 million square kilometers, including 8,300 kilometers of highways not covered by any other mobile network.
Tesla also has deals in place with KPN (The Hague, Netherlands), Orange (Paris, France), Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) and TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) covering the European market, and with AT&T (Dallas, TX) in the US and NTT DoCoMo (Tokyo) in Japan.