Blog, Events & Press

24 Aug

Is the AT&T Outage that Took Down Tesla a Prophecy for the Future?

Many of us think about similar things when buying a new car:

  • Does it fit my budget?
  • Is it safe?
  • Does it have the “James Bond” appeal?

Well, maybe that last one is just me. However, very few of us think about whether our new purchase’s internet connection will crash the car’s internal systems.

On August 15 at approximately 12:30 p.m. PDT, Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles weren’t able to connect to the applications that control the climate settings remotely. Many users reported that when they tried to turn the air conditioning on using the Tesla app, the app instead displayed that it was waking the car up. The app would eventually time out, reporting that “A Connection to the Vehicle Could Not Be Made.”

Tesla uses AT&T’s 3G and LTE services to keep its fleet of cars connected in the U.S. While neither Tesla or AT&T have commented on why this failure might have occurred, sources close to the incident have indicated that the issue is probably on “AT&T’s side.”

They cited that Tesla’s connections in other geographical regions outside the U.S, where the company works with different service providers, did not experience similar issues.

Not being able to turn on your car’s air conditioning may seem trivial -- even on the hottest day of the year -- but this could be a warning sign of future, more serious issues.

Tesla’s outage may have impacted the car’s climate control –- but what if the next one shuts down the navigation? This issue points to the larger one at hand: as more of our world becomes reliant on an internet connection, what will your business do if the connection goes down and end users are affected?

Ignoring an outage of any size in a world that is increasingly more virtualized can be deadly for the business. The future of Tesla’s innovative cars is currently unknown, but if the present trends continue, a car’s network connectivity will become mission-critical to passengers’ safety. The company will need to ensure that an outage like this doesn’t happen again.

Having end-to-end visibility of the digital infrastructure is crucial to ensuring that issues are caught before the end user is impacted. Applications and services, along with the infrastructure they run on, are the lifeblood of every business.

Problems with these systems can severely impact users, revenue or productivity. As a result, being able to understand how well end users are experiencing a service or application, and acting quickly when an issue arises, has become a business-critical requirement.

Written by Jim Melvin
SVP, Marketing & Corporate Development

Jim joined SevOne after 20 years in leadership and CEO roles in software, hardware, and SaaS businesses. He served as CEO of AppNeta for 5 years, as well as 2 years as President and CEO at Mazu Networks. Jim has an extensive background in leading companies and marketing teams through various stages of growth. He has been awarded three U.S. patents in fault tolerant systems design.

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