In most cars, the startup of the vehicle is required to trigger the vehicle’s Bluetooth function. But in the technology-laden Tesla, the act of the driver sitting in the seat may someday be sufficient to trigger the Bluetooth function.
The concept, which was described in an article on the blog site Teslarati, was a suggestion from Tesla owner Rob Hoehn. He wrote: “When a Tesla is unlocked and you’re in the middle of a call, it’s pretty eager to switch the audio from the phone over to the car. This can be frustrating when you’re in the middle of a call and you are not even inside the car yet. Or when you’re near the car and someone else gets in the car a similar thing happens. Suggestion: use the seat occupancy sensor to check if the driver is in their seat. Once the seat is occupied, then switch the Bluetooth audio over to the car.”
The idea was met with lots of support on the r/TeslaMotors online community and was the most upvoted Tesla idea in the thread. Hoehn then decided to share his idea with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was enthusiastic about the idea. “We should have done this ages ago,” Musk wrote in a reply tweet to Hoehn.
In traditional combustion engine cars, the phone will switch over to the car speakers when the engine is turned on. But in a Tesla, there is no key to turn or button to push to activate the motor, however. When an owner is in the Bluetooth range of their vehicle, the phone may automatically connect to the vehicle’s speaker system even if the driver is not in the vehicle itself.
The utilization of a Bluetooth system that would rely on seat sensors could overcome this problem. The Bluetooth system would not activate unless the driver’s seat was occupied by a human being and would not connect to the car’s speaker system if the owner is simply near the vehicle.
Tesla has utilized its seat sensors for other solutions in the past. The company submitted a patent in January 2019 that would use the sensors to determine what airbags would be most beneficial for a particular passenger’s size and frame in the event of an accident. The sensors give Tesla free reign to improve its vehicles.