An Apple Watch application update has enabled the mobile device to call for a Tesla car directly from a user’s wrist, with the vehicle opening a garage door and driving itself down a driveway. The so-called summon feature gives a user an exciting glimpse into how driverless cars may work in the future.
Version 3.0 of the Remote S for Tesla app for the Apple Watch developed by Rego Apps launched its use of the feature Wednesday. When activated, it starts the car and brings it out toward the road. Ordinarily, the vehicle requires the keyfob to be nearby when starting, but if a user enables the “Remote/Keyless Start” option, the car can be summoned by the user’s Apple Watch without the keyfob being in the vicinity.
One YouTube user, Mark Schey, recorded a video of himself summoning his Tesla Model S P85D and uploaded it Thursday. In the comments, Rego Apps showed up to congratulate Schey on summoning his car, revealing that the developer did not actually have the Apple Watch to hand when coding the feature and had not had a chance to try it out.
The summon feature was enabled in Tesla Motors Inc.’s version 7.1 software update that launched Jan. 10 and works with the Model S and Model X. The company bills it as a way of having a car ready to go during the morning routine, eliminating the need to squeeze it out of the garage.
Tesla sees this early version of the summon feature as a step toward having users’ cars meet them anywhere across the country, charging themselves along the way. Paired with Remote S, it’s possible that future versions of the feature would allow users to command their vehicles from their wrists while doing so.
Remote S for Tesla is priced at $9.99 at the U.S. iTunes Store and works on the Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone.