Nearly every electric car on the market today comes with technology that enables you to remotely start its charging cycle, pre-cool the cabin, or check its state of charge using a smart phone or computer. 

But while owners of the $109,000 Tesla Roadster aren’t among those who had smart-phone connectivity built into their cars when they were made, a group of enthusiasts are on the brink of making remote battery monitoring of their sexy electric sports cars a reality. 

Called the Open Vehicle Monitoring System, the project started on the TeslaMotorsClub website when a group of like-minded Tesla fans, electronics engineers and programmers decided they should develop a third-party system to give the Tesla Roadster the same smartphone connectivity as cars like the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Chevrolet Volt.

Started as a community-driven, open source, non-profit project, a custom-built electronics device plugs into the Roadster’s on-board diagnostics port and uploads information about the car’s battery pack directly to the owner’s cell phone or a secure server as required. 

Prototype screen of the Tesla Open Vehicle Monitoring System. Image: Tesla Motors Club

Prototype screen of the Tesla Open Vehicle Monitoring System. Image: Tesla Motors Club

Although both the in-car module and the smart phone software are still early in development, the project has already built its first iOS and Android applications, letting registered beta testers see the state of charge and location of a virtual Tesla Roadster located in a virtual Hong Kong.

In the next stage of the project, the custom-built boards will enable Tesla owners to monitor their own cars simply by buying the $99 device and a compatible GSM data SIM card. 

Currently, the project is still looking for enthusiastic software and hardware specialists to help it reach its goal of developing a plug-and-play smartphone monitoring and control system for the Roadster, with its own dedicated development forumsoftware repository, and beta test sites already set up.  

While the project isn’t endorsed in any way by Tesla, we’re glad to see Tesla fans build a third-party, open-source system to enable Roadster owners to interact with their Tesla Roadster remotely just like every other electric car on the market today can.


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