Do you remember Knight Rider? The TV show about a then-sober David Hasselhoff fighting crime using nothing but a man-perm and an automated talking car with a camp British accent? Or what about Pierce Brosnan’s mobile phone-controlled BMW 7 Series in Tomorrow Never Dies? Smart cars that were true to the word ‘smart’ and not just some tiny box on wheels. But, sadly, beyond the realms of fantasy, we’re still some way from being able to operate and access our motors via our mobiles. Or – as they would undoubtedly say on Top Gear – are we?
No, we’re not. Other than all the experimental work currently underway from many of the main motor manufacturers working to pilot automobiles using apps, now Android-using owners of Elon Musk’s most electrifying offerings can control many aspects of their Tesla Model S from the comfort of their open source OS.
Okay, so firstly you’ll have had to have spent a Don King’s ransom on one of Mr Musk’s superb all-electric sports cars and live in a country advanced enough to be plentifully stocked with recharge points to be able to run one, which rules the UK out, and, secondly, you’ll have to download this free app from Google Play. Once you have, a world of fantasy fulfilling auto-mation will unfold!
What kind of auto-mation? Check charging progress in real time and start or stop the powering up process! Heat or cool your car before driving, even if it’s in a garage! Locate your Model S with directions or track its movement across a map in case some light-fingered type got past your security! Flash the lights or honk the horn when you’ve forgotten where you parked! Vent or close the panoramic roof on a whim! And lock or unlock your jam jar from afar!
Alright, it’s not exactly Knight or Bond territory, but you have to admit it’s pretty cool. Unfortunately, however, the Model S won’t see sale in the UK until 2014; fortunately that gives me a year to save up the €101,800 required to snap one up. All donations welcome.