As the most technologically advanced production cars on the road, Tesla's vehicles collect a lot of potentially useful data. Unfortunately for Tesla's diehard fanclub of early adopters, the company's in-house app doesn't offer a simple way to get at much of that data. So two obsessive Tesla owners took it upon themselves to build a their own, much more robust companion app called Teslab.
Teslab connects your smartphone to your Tesla Model S or Model X and starts combing through all of the available data to like speed, braking, etc to build a complete picture of your overall driving efficiency. The app will show those efficiency stats overlaid on a map so you can see when your vehicle was efficiently sipping power and when you were just burning through battery range with a leadfoot. The app can show your efficiency for a single trip as well as actual miles vs. battery miles and the amount of money you saved by not using internal combustion, and it will even show how "phantom drain" affected your range while the car was sitting idle.
On the surface, the app aims to at least alleviate range anxiety with a clear picture of the factors affecting that range in the first place. But the co-creators from development studio HappyFunCorp hope that by handing over vehicle data (which includes potentially sensitive location information pulled from the phone) Tesla drivers will eventually help make all connected cars a little smarter. Teslab hopes to use all that information to analyze how things like weather and road conditions affect battery range and eventually make your Tesla talk to your connected home.
"We thought, what if we could build a framework for what the connected car could be," Teslab co-creater Ben Schippers told TechCrunch. "What if Tesla gave us enough access to our individual cars that we could build a community around what we envision the connected car of the future could be, across all connected cars?"
While the app is still in beta, Schippers says they already have "a huge percentage of the Model X and Model S owners" signed up, and the flood of new Tesla owners expected to come with the release of the Model 3 later this year will add another huge source of data. But the real goal for Schippers and company will be to get all the other big automakers on with a similarly powerful platform.