A lead developer working with Cisco, Jason Goecke, demonstrated a project he completed with an unofficial Tesla application programming interface (API) and integration with Amazon Echo to automatically pull his car out of the garage via a simple voice command. This prototype works with Tesla Model S or Model X vehicles.
His code of just over 140 lines uses the summon feature in the Tesla API to drive the vehicle either into or out of his garage. He put together a working prototype of the feature over a weekend and published both the code and the instructions on how to integrate the triggers with Amazon’s cloud-enabled AWS Lambda.
In a 45-second demonstration video, Goecke is heard requesting Alexa to “Ask KITT,” (one can assume that this is the Knight Rider-inspired nickname of his Tesla vehicle) to “pull the car out of the garage.”
His code then executes and opens his garage door. The Echo voice prompt then informs Goecke that KITT is pulling the Tesla out of the garage. The vehicle stops just after clearing the door.
With the open source nature of the published code, further improvements or development can be integrated by other developers. Goecke, however, is asking Tesla to release an official API for developers in order to create more interesting and unique features for the vehicles.
“Our friends at Tesla should work with the burgeoning developer community to open a fully supported and safe public API” Goecke stated in his post on Teslarati. “Tesla has built the beginnings of an excellent platform, but it will take a concerted effort to attract developers to build the apps that even Elon Musk hasn’t dreamed of,” he added.
For the time being, Goecke’s weekend project with the unofficial app still has a few security concerns that need to be addressed before he suggests anyone to enable this feature. One of those security concerns is the lack of voice biometrics that would verify the true owner of the vehicle. Goecke hinted that he is not finished developing this trick for his Tesla vehicle and plans to explore the technology further.
“Imagine the day I could ask Alexa from within my house to get my car ready. The car pulls out of the garage and adjusts its settings to my preferences based on the weather, opening my sunroof and windows on a nice sunny day. All the technologies are already here, it’s stringing them together just right,” Goecke said.
If Tesla were to open an official API, Jason Goecke and many other developers with a passion for tinkering might just come up with even more useful and innovative functions.