Poor man’s connected car?

I’ve set a proximity trigger to open the driveway gate and garage when I get home - it works really well provided I’m in the car. But of course if my wife is driving it does nothing for her (unless I’m in the car with her). To work around this I was thinking of putting an apple airtag in the car, which can trigger the proximity (of course one of us will be in the car, so I presume I can then use the AirTag proximity instead of mine).

Two questions:

  1. Any problems with my plan?
  2. Any other devices I should consider instead of AirTag


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Why not just set up a proximity check for her as well?

That might be a better option, but I feel that this is simpler.

Broader context:

  • one car in the garage
  • at the moment I have a button in the garage that when pressed (a) opens the garage and gate, (b) waits 15 seconds before closing the garage, (c) waits until I depart before closing the gate, (d) enables my proximity check

Ignore the fact that (b) is a hack (for now)

I imagine I could get cute at (c) and see who leaves, then enable proximity check for that person. However I feel that is more prone to oddities.


So you need some kind of selector automation that sets who has the car and only respond to that person coming home.

And there is no Bluetooth sensor in iOS, right?


iOS Bluetooth? Not sure i follow.

It’s further complicated because when I ride my bike I’ll want that to behave the same way (I’m thinking I’ll stick a tag on the bike too).

But how often does the tags position update.
I doubt you can follow them in real time, but I could be wrong.

I was thinking you could use Bluetooth “presence” in the car to determine who is in there and use that as the who is driving.
But now that you want bikes also… Maybe you should just trigger on direction and device trackers position.
I think you are over complicating it.
Or is it an issue if the gate opens when you are walking home?

The walk home scenario is very real, which is why I have the opening as an automation that I turn on when leaving (ie step d in the above).

The AirTag timeliness of updates is a good point though. I hadn’t thought of that. Sigh.

What connectivity (if Any) does the car have? If it has bluetooth that might work, I know nothing of modern cars, the newest car I have is 15 years old, but i am led to believe they can have wifi, and android entertainment systems. Not sure if its true or I imagined it :slight_smile: Or just get a cheap data sim for an old phone and leave that permanently connected to power in the car, with the app on it and track that.

If you are open to use Zigbee, I happen to make an Zigbee based Arrival Sensor. It can double up as additional security sensor especially if your car is parked on your drive way. Sorry if this is not what you are looking for. I do not want to hijack your thread. I just think you may want to hear about other options as well.

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Thanks @iharyadi - but I don’t think the zigbee range will give me what I want.


Yes my car has bluetooth, but from what I’ve seen I’m going to struggle to use BLE for presence detection due to range.

What I’m really looking for is something that triggers when I’m 100m away.

It would have been easier with an Android since you have Bluetooth in the car.
But with iOS I suppose the best you can do is use the activity sensor:
Sensors | Home Assistant Companion Docs (home-assistant.io)
to determine if someone is not walking (I guess) and trigger on the distance 100 m from home with the proximity sensor:
Proximity - Home Assistant (home-assistant.io)

And create one automation and sensors for each phone.
This means your proximity check thing is not needed since it will be one for each phone.

Hahaha - thank-you, really I do appreciate it, but…

We have two cars - one is parked on the street, and one is parked in the driveway. And we both drive both cars…

I’m not making this up - although it’s beginning to feel like I’m just creating reasons why these solutions won’t work. eek

What about two buttons in the garage then?
One to activate you the other to activate her as the driver and then you kind of keep what you have except you use the button press to write to a input text “device_tracker.you” and in the following automations you use states(input text).

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That absolute works. Now I feel like I’m the one over complicating it. And now that I think of it, I’m sure a second button would be cheaper than an AirTag!

I should just do that. Thanks.