Are you wondering how to disable your Tesla’s location tracking? At times, this feature can offer fantastic peace of mind, allowing us to check on where our teenagers have driven to — that is, if they’re lucky enough to be allowed to use the Tesla — or how far our spouses are from getting home for dinner. It can also be comforting to know that, in the unlikely event of your car being stolen, it wouldn’t take much to know where to find it.
But what if you don’t want your location to be tracked when you’re driving your Tesla?
Although we live in a world that has seen tracking become commonplace thanks to Google Maps and our inclination to carry our smartphones in our pockets, some simply find the whole idea a little creepy.
If you’d rather safeguard your privacy and disable your Tesla’s location tracking, then this is the article for you.
Why Would I Want To Disable Tesla Location Tracking?
Beyond any dislike of the idea of being tracked by modern technology in general, you may also not want other drivers of your Tesla to know where you are.
The Tesla app allows every assigned driver—whether primary or secondary— to see where the car is at any given moment via their mobile interface. That means that if you, your spouse, and your teen all share the car, you can all check up on where the others are headed.
Some drivers are also concerned that Tesla has a history of being hacked – though the company has made great strides in keeping its customer’s data secure. Still, if you are concerned about the implications of a data hack revealing your location history, this is another reason to turn off location tracking.
Can I Disable Location Tracking In My Tesla?
It seems like a straightforward enough question, but the answer is not quite as clear-cut as you might imagine. At time of writing, Tesla doesn’t offer a designated feature to allow you to disable your Tesla’s location tracking, but there are a few ways to get around this obstacle if you’d rather retain your privacy.
A first clue can be found in Tesla’s manuals, which point out that tracking is linked to your use of the map on the car’s dashboard touchscreen. An attention-grabbing note in all of the manuals says: “When you rotate or move the map, your current location is no longer tracked. The message “Tracking Disabled” displays briefly next to the map orientation icon and the icon turns gray.”
Rotating or moving the map is achieved by holding and dragging your fingers on the screen until you see that “Tracking Disabled” message. To re-engage tracking, the driver only needs to touch the map’s orientation icon and choose North Up or Heading Up.
For those seeking an added layer of location discretion, another option is to turn off location sharing with the mobile app. There are two ways to do this. The first is to hit the car icon on the car’s dashboard touchscreen and then Settings, Safety & Security, and finally, select the option to turn off Mobile Access. Alternatively, you can disable the console’s Bluetooth by selecting the Bluetooth symbol on the touchscreen and then selecting Disconnect when prompted by a pop-up.
These can be considered more fool-proof ways to disable your Tesla’s location tracking, although you should note that you’ll lose some functionality when you disconnect from the mobile app.
Final Thoughts On Tesla Location Tracking
Tesla pays close attention to the needs of its drivers and periodically rolls out software updates that introduce new features. It’s therefore entirely possible that an option to turn off location tracking will be added in the future.
In the meantime, at least it is still possible to circumnavigate the car’s automatic location tracking, even if you do have to use some hidden tricks to do it!
Finally, for those trying to hide their journeys from loved ones, it’s worth noting that while they may not be able to see where you are, they might well notice that they can’t see where you are and wonder why. Such is the politics of driving an intelligent vehicle. But armed with all of the above information, you’ll at least have the option to hide your location if you really want to.