Scheduling things on a Tesla using Azure pt. 5; parsing the action

We’re down to the last piece of the puzzel; calendars are examined in a regular interval, we can tell the cars what to do, but those two need to be connected.

It is very practical to quickly see in a calendar what will be happening, and the summary field of an appointment is rendered in any view, so that is the best field to use. Other fields like description are often only visible in a detail view. Below is how I’ve currently setup my Tesla this February (which is winter).

My car goes into a security cam mode every night between 2 and 6 am, by activating sentry mode at home. And I’m making sure the doors are locked and the sun roof is closed. I could also schedule charging at that time, but I want my car to be fully charged ASAP. At weekdays I’m preconditioning the car early in the morning, which means heating up the battery and the cabine. We have a lame winter this year, so that suffices to remove any ice on the windows, but if it were really cold I’d put in “defrost”. You can see that my current schedule takes me to a different project on Tuesdays, with less driving time, so I can leave later.

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Scheduling things on a Tesla using Azure pt. 3; the Tesla API

In the previous post we took a look at how the initial just-for-my-own-car implementation was refactored into a version that supported many cars using a database instead of hardcoded values. It also showed that the LogicApp based implementation lost its merrits, and everything was moved into Java code. In this part we’ll take a look at the Tesla API that is used to make the car do things.

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Going electric; almost a year in

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

After almost a year of driving electric, I’m about to do the one year look back. And it is a two side one. It really is.

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Going electric; Maxem

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

Charging at home

The whole topic about charging at home is confusing when you do not own an electric car, and to be honest I still don’t get it 100%. You can charge from any 220 volt socket, but that does not charge very fast, because that power group may be shared with other appliances. So at least it would be wise to dedicate a single 16 amps power group to charging your car. A single dedicated group should put about 40 km of range per hour in your battery pack. Some simplified math then tells us that a 400 km pack will take about a full night’s to charge (I know it’s not linear, but let’s keep this simple). And even though that will suffice for 99% of the use cases, 10 hours for a full charge is quite some time…

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Going electric; AP1 vs AP2

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

Loaner Model S

My own model S is in the shop for some adjustments and I got a four to five years old (I guess) Model S P90D as a loaner. The car has AP1, as I noticed the missing camera’s in the way the environment was shown in the binnacle.

AP1 vs AP2

After having driven over 300 km (200 miles) with it, I found some noticeable differences between AP1 and AP2. Most noticeable is the “follow the car” behaviour; which is visualized on screen by a car turning blue. AP1 seems to prefer following a car over sticking between the lines. When a car is followed, the line markings are often removed from the screen.

This morning I was behind a car and it decided to change lanes, and my Tesla initially attempted to follow him. Very weird, and immediately manually intervened. Don’t know if it would have followed through.

This whole follow-the-car (nothing ever turns blue) is not present in AP2. Good call changing that Tesla.

However, from a responsiveness AP1 seems to be quicker. When I indicate that I want to switch lanes, AP1 does this immediately, where AP2 seems to hesitate and feels sluggish in responding. Maybe that is why Elon wants a new AI chip. Although I figure the system has a constant awareness of all surrounding cars and lanes, so asking to switch should not need a complex analysis, the system should know at any time what its options are; I can move left, I can move right, I can brake, I can accelerate, etc. Otherwise it can never properly and quickly respond to unexpected situations (which is what Tesla is aiming for). So asking it to move over, should be instantaneous.

Going electric, the model 3

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

Unexpected encounter

So my model S needed to go to the workshop; it seems my headlights were set a bit high (got a lot of flashes and my g/f complained when I was driving behind her), and there is a faint torquing noise coming from the right A-pillar when I drive on uneven roads. First world problems.

But while waiting on the intake on my S, I was asked if I wanted to take a peek at the Model 3. It has been on tour through Europe lately, but I missed the opportunity when it was at my local Tesla shop. So I was quite pleased with his suggestion and eagerly said yes.

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Going electric, winter is coming

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

Real life range in the fall

The weather is getting colder, it is now around freezing in the morning, and I already start to notice serious differences in predicted and actual range. Charged to 85% my Model S75D has a predicted range of 341 km. But after I drove to work this morning, which is a distance of 92 km, the remaining range was 217 km.

googleMapHomeToWork2018a

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Going electric; scheduling the AC on a Tesla

The last few blogs had a “not my usual content” text here, but this one is about software development. As it turns out Tesla is missing a -for me- very critical piece of functionality; being able to start the airconditioning (AC) system at a certain time. It is possible to turn on the AC immediately via the app using the fan icon (see the image below), but not automatically at 06:00, while I’m still counting sheep in my bed.

TeslaAppFirstScreen

But to my amazement, every Tesla car is accessible via the internet through a REST API. This API is what the Tesla app uses to access the vehicle. Using this API is not officially supported, but Tesla does not seem to mind people accessing it.

Okay! That is interesting! I’m a software engineer, I can handle a REST API…

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Going electric, first drive

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced.

Delivery

The delivery is fun with the unveiling process, where they remove an actual veil from the car. You get a quick run through of the basics, but since you also are a bit overwhelmed by the fact that you’re buying a new car, you follow suit. In retrospect, I would have liked a bit of time alone with the car, so I could inspect it, run my finger over all the gaps and see if they are ok. But they are definitely trying to get you on your way. “You really like to get going, don’t you?”… Hm, no, not really.

TeslaDelivery

But after listening to YouTube for 2.5 years I have a pretty good idea on how to drive the car; looky there… that right pedal makes it move. And next to it is the stop thingy. I’ll be fine. But it actually is that simple. There is no need to light a fire anywhere, so no start button to press. But also no reassuring vrooooommm that the system works and is ready, and that is somewhat eerie; sit, press brake, push down the drive direction selector, press the pedal and off you go.

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Going electric, prelude

The ‘going electric’ will be different blogs from my usual beat. Not only because they will not be related (directly) to software development, but also because they are opinionated and personal reports; editorials about switching over to an electric car. They will list my personal joys and annoyances about the switch, but I’ll try to be fair and balanced. Oh, and this first one will be longer, so I’ll include chapters and pictures. 🙂

Pre-prelude

I’m a nerd, always have been. In primary school I was ridiculed because my fantasy sometimes got the better of me. Luckily nowadays nerds are cool, because people need nerds to make their gadgets work, so the world became a better place for me. But that could become a whole separate post. What matters is that technology always had my interest; I like spaceships, watch science fiction, and dreamt of flying on the Enterprise. But also more down to earth tech like cars and trains always had an appeal. Not in a way that I had posters of them on the wall, but those big American trains… As an adult, whenever I found a nice image, it was included in my set of rotating desktop wallpapers.

Besides beautiful images on my desktop, I read a weekly car magazine to know more about cars. Because, you know, supercars have a tendency to be totally unpractical. One of my favourite brands is Aston Martin, because they look good and actually are usable.

AstonMartin

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