EVE for Tesla: Was it Ever Real?

When a market for in-car third-party apps bloomed, EVE for Tesla tapped in. But did anyone get what they wanted?
Written by Alex Reale
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Sep 8, 2022
One of the hallmarks of the car world of 2022 is a fixation on reducing friction. This deeply-held Silicon Valley value has turned many a humble console into a flashy touchscreen. Knobs and levers are out, connectivity apps are in. 
And many companies are working on turning the screen in your car into the screen on your phone: a stylish landing page for their app, or a medium for their
subscription
service. 
Evolved Vehicle Environments, or EVE, is one of these companies, and its touchscreen of choice belongs to a
Tesla
. But the feeling might not be mutual—many Tesla owners haven’t been thrilled. Here’s how a connectivity company struggled to make the connection.

Just an iota of OTA

As the saying goes, if you give a car a screen, it’ll want software updates. In 2022, it’s looking specifically for over-the-air updates. Over-the-air, or OTA, is another expression for wireless.
Before OTA, if you needed a software update, you’d take your car to the dealer or service provider to plug it into the source and feed your car its new information. This might seem hopelessly backward now, but this was the norm until about a decade ago. 
OTA began in 2009 when General Motors led the charge with its “over-the-air updates through OnStar and in-vehicle infotainment,” says
Electrek
. GM has been working hard to keep its ingenuity front of mind for car consumers, but it’s tough when the other company that has taken up this hobby is Tesla. 

Tesla, wireless champ

Tesla released its version of OTA with the Model S in 2012. 
Maybe it was the giant screen, or maybe it was Elon Musk, but the EV maker quickly became the go-to referent for the wireless madness of our brave new world. Plus, Tesla went one step further, introducing “FOTA,” which stands for firmware over the air. 
This means that physical issues with the car could be fixed wirelessly, a rather mind-bending concept that has led to some strange permutations and arguments. 
It’s not actually legal to make physical changes to a car that has already been government-approved in many countries, reports
The Drive
, so Elon Musk’s alarmingly quick confirmation that a FOTA update had fixed a brake issue, no trip to the dealer required, opened up a floodgate of questions about regulations, safety, and faith in the code. 
And no one really has the answers yet. But, like it or not, the screens are here to stay.

Eve ate an apple, EVE made an app

Tesla has its own proprietary app festival and its attendant concerns, but third-party apps are vying for drivers’ attention as well. 
EVE, which is based in Toronto, went for the dashboard angle, promising to “effortlessly display up to 4 apps at a time that enhances your daily business, travel or leisure commute.”Among the apps displayed: the weather, a clock, news, and a calculator—in case you have to tally up your haters.
It also advertises capabilities that go beyond the car itself. EVE customers can use the program to close their garage and turn off the lights in their house on their way to the store, and then set the interior temperature of their house on the way back. 
This all sounds pretty good, but like its biblical namesake, it’s had a tough time with PR. 

The Tesla message boards have spoken

For a company that should be highly motivated to show off its digital prowess, EVE has an oddly small, weird internet footprint. Its website sports no logo in the toolbar, opting instead for the generic “W” of “Wordpress,” and its LinkedIn celebrates the presence of just one employee. 
And to round out the devastation, its Twitter almost entirely retweets Tesla’s tweets, with months-long gaps in between.
And the company’s reticence isn’t just online, apparently. One Tesla discussion board, called
Tesla Motors Club
, had nary a kind word to say about EVE’s customer service. 
One user pointedly said “avoid” and “they never answer the phone.” Several others complained that after installing the service they had not been able to get it working, and they too struggled to get in touch with any help from the provider.
Maybe it’s not too late for this “leading in-market connected car solution that is fully functional, user-customizable, and continually evolving,” but EVE should probably hire a social media manager. And someone to man the phones.
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