Technology is awesome.
Aside from being known for their all-electric drivetrains, Teslas are also packed full of impressive new technologies many competitors lack. One of them is a remote shutdown feature owners can utilize via a smartphone app. And, as it turns out, this bit of tech is capable of preventing a carjacking.
According to a Facebook post from the Barstow Police Department in Barstow, California, the owner of a Tesla Model 3 called 911 earlier this month when an unknown individual suddenly entered the vehicle and ordered him to get out. Realizing immediately this was a carjacking in progress, the owner quickly got out of his car but also sprang into action. You see, the thief made one critical error: he didn't demand the owner's smartphone as well.
Because of this, the owner was able to open the Tesla phone app and used to shut off the car's electric motor. He also locked the doors. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the would-be thief, identified as Charles Smith, sitting in the driver's seat without a way to escape. The owner obviously opened the vehicle for the police in order to arrest Smith and it didn't take long for the officers to notice Smith was acting unusual.
Instead of panicking over his situation, he was heavily sweating and his eyes were twitching and blinking rapidly. His behavior was also "erratic and combative." Translation: he was high.
Smith was later charged with attempted carjacking and for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Tesla's phone app has, once again, proven itself to be a very handy accessory. However, the app can't be used to lock someone inside the car because they could still simply use the manual release.
Yes, locking and unlocking can be done, but it'd be too dangerous not to have the ability to unlock the car manually. So couldn't Smith have done that and ran off? Probably because of the drugs and his altered state of mind.