There is a known problem with Teslas that every model is capable of connecting to Wi-Fi, which grants unrestricted access to anything on the internet.
While those who pay an extra fee for what is called “premium connectivity” can get Wi-Fi access at any time, even those who do not purchase this service are able to connect to Wi-Fi from any hotspot, which gives them unrestricted internet access that is unfilterable.
Some, more upscale models come equipped with a screen both in the front and back of the car. The screen in back, which is meant for child passengers, can be locked by the parents, but there currently is no way to disable the screen in the front.
One Lakewood resident, Yisroel D. Bender, took action by contacting Tesla several weeks ago about this issue and has been working with them to find a viable solution that will enable frum Yidden to drive without inherent ruchnius challenges.
When he first called Tesla, Yisroel was told that a solution may be possible if enough people call them and express interest.
He explained that it is not at all farfetched to think that they can easily come up with a solution, as they have done so for numerous other requests when the demand is high. Representatives of Tesla openly told him on the phone that if enough people call with this request, it is very likely that the pressure will lead to an outcome of something being worked out.
The representatives said that, in the past, Tesla has changed things like the design of the car and the software after people called in.
Furthermore, the recently changed the font to a larger size to accommodate older drivers who were having a hard time reading it after numerous calls with this request.
Tesla already has a feature known as “pin to drive”. When this feature is activated, the car cannot be driven until a pin is punched in. It would not be too difficult for a similar feature to be installed for internet usage, which would make it impossible to use the internet unless a pin is entered. The pin could be made by someone else and be left unknown to the driver, which would, in effect, disable the internet and remove the problem altogether.
Yisroel is asking Tesla owners to call them at 1-877-798-3752. After dialing this number, press option 5, and then dial extension 10007. The caller will then have to identify himself as a Tesla owner and provide his name, email odometer reading and Tesla nickname (if applicable). He can then request that the pin lock feature be added for the web browser.
The call will only take a couple of minutes and, hopefully, will bear results. The Tesla representatives reached on the phone were extremely positive about this idea and have said that this is a good way to going about getting this done.
The public awareness campaign was started just a few weeks ago and the Tesla representatives are telling callers that they have already received many calls. Yisroel has continued to be in contact with Tesla, and is being told that they are impressed with the number of callers and how important this issue is to the Jewish community. They say that the more calls they receive, the better chance they will accommodate the request.
If anyone has any other questions, they can call Yisroel D. Bender at 908-783-4220. Additionally, anyone who calls Tesla is asked to be in contact with him and let him know that they called so that he can keep a rough count of how many people have called them.