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Smart Valet Mode

With all the technology in this car, I was thinking what a valet mode on this car could be.

This is what I would like to see / think would be cool:

  • Driving up to a valet station, press the voice command button
  • say: "Activate Valet Mode"
  • response: Valet mode activated. One half mile range
  • say: Change valet mode to one quarter mile
  • response: Valet mode changed to one quarter mile
  • The center screen would now only display the words "Valet Mode Active"
  • All other screen functions, including maps, nav, music and address book are locked out
  • Max speed and power are limited
  • If the car travels more than a quarter mile (or metric of course) from its current position, an alert is sent to the mobile app with its current location and speed
  • A camera feed from the front or interior of the car can be viewed on the mobile app at any time
  • Valet mode can be deactivated from the mobile app or some kind of code on the center screen

Check out for something that can be done in software with the Model S.

And, with your Siri phone controlling the situation, don't forget the self destruct sequence to scare the thieves in 12 languages. Remember that the countdown must freeze at "1" as in the movie "Galaxy Quest". ;)

They use these bait cars quite a bit here in Arizona with car theft being on the high side...

I thought about the kill switch idea but it just seems way to dangerous.

Galaxy Quest is one of my favorite movies and of course it would have to stop at 1 sec.

Bait mode would be nice b/c you'd hope that the usual suspects learn quickly enough that every single Tesla Model S doubles as a bait car. Consequently, they'd focus on other makes.

I hope Tesla does make sure that there is an antitheft feature in the software. So, as long as there's a 3G/4G antenna still working or there's a WiFi network accessible, the default mode (those who've recently read Orwell's 1984 or been to North Korea would shut this off upon purchase) should be to ensure contact with Tesla headquarters "every so often". That way, a car that's reported stolen can tell Tesla where it is. A quick response to an IP ping would say to the car "You're reported stolen! Tell me where you think you are." The IP address of the car's original ping would be remembered.

We risk heading off-top -- anti-theft gadgetry is different than valet mode (fully worthy of discussion, though).

I generally agree with the original poster. It's probably easier, though, to have a "Valet Settings" page on the car settings, which would allow the owner to set limits on distance, speed, acceleration, apps, etc. You probably don't want to lock out all center console functions; things like the rear-/side-view cameras will be useful for valets.

Note how similar a fully configurable "Valet Mode" is to "Teenage Driver Mode." Clearly many settings will be different, but the general approach will be the same.

Yeah, "Teenager mode" would be like an extension of valet mode. It would limit the speed to 60mph (adjustable to local speed limit) and limit acceleration to something like 0-60 in 10 secs. :D

In case the thief knows how to disable internet connectivity:

Mixing the two concepts (valet mode and theft deterrence), maybe the car can be told never to go above "teenager mode" restrictions unless the car has "phoned home" recently. That way, any Model S that has been stolen would at least be less fun to drive.

This thought is still not fully baked. For example, the amount of time defining "recently" would have to be programmable (with a password?) so that anyone who is going to be out of cellular range for a long time (parked at a remote airstrip? storage mode override?) doesn't hit the mode while away.

Smart Valet? That's an oxymoron... :) I kid, I kid!

@gjunky, sounds like you have been playing with the Siri feature to come up with that set on instructions? :)

EdG, far too complex IMO. I hope expect that Tesla comes up with some "just works" approach that does not prompt me to configure anything. They should be smart enough.

V.B: I agree. I hope they stick with something simple and easily understandable, too. I just toss these things here so no one at Tesla says "that would have been a good feature if we'd have thought of it". They have some time to think it over and decide, as a corporation, how best to present a well honed whole that provides a nice set of features.

Sometimes all you have to do is write a little code (after onerously deciding what the code should actually do) to get a nice feature in place.

Whatever they decide, if it inhibits theft, it does the job and lowers our future insurance rates.

I don't think anything would HAVE to be configured. There would be defaults. You just turn valet mode on or off. But options are good.

I love the idea of a teenage mode.

@BYT: Actually not a big Apple fan. Voice recognition has existed well before Siri but I understand the comparison.

@EdG: Lojack uses a radio system that is apparently not too easy to turn off by a thief. Perhaps the same thing can be done here.

I love the idea a teenage mode too!

Speaking of Siri, have you heard of Iris? The Android version. Male, it says, but with a female voice. I wonder if he dreams of electric sheep ...


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