Apple Siri commands and iOS shortcuts for your Tesla

Last updated 22-Sep-2023

Siri commands and apple shortcuts can be used to get information from and control your Tesla. We talk you through the commands that natively work with Tesla app and how to create your own shortcuts. While Siri commands have been possible for years, app version 4.24.0 gave more native siri commands and the ability to include them in shortcuts, which can there be linked to other activities.

Native siri commands via the Tesla app

To use the following commands you need to have the Tesla application installed on your phone and open in the background. If you don't, Siri will ask you to open it. Your phone may also needs to be unlocked.

Another slight issue is we've also found that if the car is asleep, Siri often won't wait long enough for the car to respond.

We've found the following commands to work, they're all pretty self-explanatory:

  • Hey siri what is my cars charge?
  • Hey siri how much charge does my car have?
  • Hey siri What's left in my car's battery?
  • Hey Siri Do I need to charge my car?
  • Hey siri activate my cars audible signals (you will be asked to confirm)
  • Hey siri honk the horn (you will be asked to confirm)
  • Hey siri flash my cars headlights (you will be asked to confirm)
  • Hey siri lock my car
  • Hey siri unlock my car

If you have set only the driver's door to unlock, just say "Hey siri unlock my car door" a second time after the driver's door has unlocked.

A couple of other commands get a response, some examples below, but only to tell you to use the cars app.

A couple of troubleshooting tips, you need to have Siri & Search turned on in the settings (Settings -> Tesla). We've also found that older versions of the app and/or iphones don't have the use with Siri option.

Siri controlling summon is probably a step to far, but it would be cool if you could say "back a bit, a bit more.. keep coming..". One day maybe!!

Standard Apple iOS shortcuts and making custom siri commands

Tesla now allow a number of commands to be included in shortcuts. A shortcut is like a mini program which is as simple as one line command, but can also allows multiple commands and logic to be combined and triggered in one go. The name you give the shortcut also becomes a Siri command allowing for easy execution.

Another benefit of shortcuts is that you can set them so they can be included on an apple watch which brings functionality to the Apple Watch which was previously only possible via 3rd part applications.

The range is quite wide and can accessed by using the following steps:

  • Open up the shortcuts app
  • Click the + sign to create a new shortcut
  • Click Add Action
  • Click Apps
  • Find the Tesla app in the list and click that (if it doesn't appearm you need to update your Tesla app)
  • From here you can see a list of Tesla shortcuts.
  • Select the one you want, and depending on which it is, you can customise it further e.g. disabling Sentry mode
  • Once selected, the shortcut is created. It can be renamed and if so desired allowed to be added to an Apple Watch

Once you have your shortcut just use Hey Siri and it will run. This can be handy for the shortcut commands that siri doesn't directly support. Examples include starting or stopping charging and disabling or enabling Sentry mode.

Custom Apple iOS shortcuts

Tesla have made a number of changes over the years to the way the API and the car used to work. The two key changes are commands will now fail unless the car is awake, and the API token has a life span of only a few hours. As a consequence, the good old days of being able to easily make a iOS shortcut calling the Tesla API directly are no more.

The good news is we've encapsulated all the required tasks, converting the refresh token to an API token, or using a cached version we have, identifying the car ID if not supplied, waking the car up if asleep and executing the command into a single secure web call to our servers.

You can find details of our Tesla Automation instructions which creates the URL, from which you can easily create a custom iOS shortcut. An iOS shortcut can be called via Siri and/or added to an Apple watch extending the range of options you have in controlling the car.

These custom apple iOS shortcuts have in part been replaced by native Tesla shortcuts and we would recommend using the Tesla shortcut toute outlined above first, and only use custom shortcuts using our API or any other 3rd party solution for commands that are essential and can't be done using the native Tesla commands.

Using iOS accessibility features

Another tip you can consider is to assign some of the Tesla shortcuts via the accessibility features on later iPhones. To assign a shortcut visit Settings -> Accessibility -> Touch -> Backtap and assign the shortcut from there. Just be careful with what you assign as you would not want to unlock the car by accident, but opening the charge port could be useful.

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