Using smartphone as entry/start key?

Using smartphone as entry/start key?

Hi there,
Not sure if this has already been talked about but I thought it would be neat if you could get rid of the key fob (one less thing in your pockets) and maybe download an app for your smartphone that would allow you to use your phone as your entry/start key instead?
I guess security could be an issue. What if you had to enter a password first? I always thought fingerprint ID on a smartphone would be cool (is this available yet)?

Maybe I am dreaming but it doesn't sound too far fetched does it? At least with Tesla's all electronic setup I am sure it could be made possible in the future with some software upgrades?
I always envisioned the future as your smartphone being your phone, music player, car key, and wallet (using swipe of phone instead of bank cards - think they already do this in Japan?) Everything all wrapped up into one device...ahhh pocket freedom!
Maybe Apple should buy Tesla and a bank with all their cash and make this happen!

*If anyone from Apple is reading this I will accept a small payment in exchange for agreeing that this was your idea all along!*

What do you guys think?


teddyg | 20. marraskuu 2012

Oh could be your house key as well...true pocket freedom!

Volker.Berlin | 21. marraskuu 2012

Three threads that have a different focus but touch on related issues:

I also asked about a surfing key. No one had a solution other than hiding it in the bushes out of range or taking the battery out and putting it in a hidden lock box. Neither very practical or elegant. As many buyers will be active people and all electronics fail at some point, Tesla should provide a plastic emergency/wet key with a key hole somewhere. My vote would be under the taillight flap opposite the charger flap. (RobQ)

They could maybe team up with a watch maker and produce a combined waterproof watch & RFID key ? With small buttons on the side to unlock the trunk, frunk etc. (jkirkebo)
(From the same thread)

I'm assuming the emergency fail safe unlock spot at the wheel well uses RFID, since it works when the fob's battery is dead. Tesla could provide a waterproof plastic card with embedded RFID tag you could have in your wallet for emergencies. This would also solve the problem of a day of scuba diving or surfing, since all you'd need is the card in your gear or suit. (Teoatawki)

I asked this question at my test drive. The tech assured me that even if the key fob battery dies, the car can be opened and operated by having the key fob close to the car. The car recognizes the key even with a dead fob battery. The car will not let you lock the keys inside. This is good most of the time, but if you are into outdoor sports, water sports, or want to put an emergency key somewhere on or near the car, you really cant. The car will recognize the key and unlock the car. There is no "plastic key" or other emergency key. In my current vehicle, I lock my keys in my car and use a keypad on the door which I installed to enter the car. I also have a trailer hitch that has a tiny safe inside which can hold a key. I dont see any options here for the model S and hope they an arrange somethin that works. I didnt think this was going to be a big deal, but it just might be a deal breaker if I cant use my car to do the sports that I love. (Mark42)

Volker.Berlin | 21. marraskuu 2012

BTW, Tesla can remotely unlock the car. They did it once, see:
("private", i.e., reservation holders and owners only)

Thus, there is no technical reason why the upcoming Tesla smartphone app shouldn't be able to do the same. Whether they expose the feature to the app is another question of course.

mrspaghetti | 21. marraskuu 2012

Like it. And note that it could bequite secure if they used 2-factor authentication, e.g. Google Authenticator.

jerry3 | 23. marraskuu 2012

While there could be an App to do this, would it really be more convenient?

Taking your phone out of your pocket every time you want to unlock the car seems a step backwards to me. You'd have to do it twice--once to unlock the car and once to start the car.

Having the phone continually check for the car's signal (so that you don't have to take it out of your pocket) reduces talk time on the phone.

I'm trying to see the value here, but I'm just not seeing it.

Brian H | 23. marraskuu 2012

Increased pocket space? ;)

Michael23 | 23. marraskuu 2012

If it worked like the fob it would be cool, but what would you do for a valet or if your phone died? Not good.

Brian H | 23. marraskuu 2012

The logical conclusion of all this is going to be having the driver 'chipped'. You just need the right RFID, your veternarian can handle the rest.
>:) | 24. marraskuu 2012

Great idea Brian, we can also find lost Model S owners that way.

SSL161 | 24. marraskuu 2012

Wouldn't it just be easier to just put a biometric reader (AKA fingerprint) inside the door handle perhaps?

--- Cherif

DouglasR | 24. marraskuu 2012

Cherif, I have that on my Sony laptop, and could never get it to work. Maybe dry fingers. Anyway, I wouldn't want to rely on a biometric reader to get into my car.

Oaktowner | 24. marraskuu 2012

Brian H - I believe you mean "veterinarian."

Brian H | 24. marraskuu 2012

Or at least return them to their rightful cars.

SSL161 | 24. marraskuu 2012


Not all FP readers are equal. I use commercial grade outdoor rated FP readers at my office and they work very well.

I also make it a point to have FP readers on my work laptops (HP- Compaq shop) and the reliability of those has been stellar.

However, it is a possible point of failure so I wouldn't make it the only way in.

--- Cherif

Brian H | 24. marraskuu 2012

Roitchew R!

Timo | 24. marraskuu 2012

@CherifB, (slightly :-P) difference between computer FP scanner and outdoor FP scanner is that laptop one is actual security device, and that outdoor scanner is not. It's not actually question of reliability, but the fact that laptop one doesn't allow so much deviation from original input.

Mythbusters did some fun testing with these. Turns out that it was far easier to fool those door "security" FP scanners than it was to fool laptop one.

Something like palm scanner that actually scans for blood vessel patterns would be more more secure and far more reliable (and could actually read your hand thru gloves.

I like the chip though. Just not quite this insecure RFID we are currently using (it is insecure in quite fundamental level). v2.0 maybe. That one could be used so many ways, like storing information of allergies, so that once you get to accident doc could just read the chip and get who you are, what medicines are dangerous to you etc. It does have a bit scary side-effect by making big brother watching much easier (as long as government is OK that's OK, but once it turns to some religious theocracy with serious intolerance to "others", not so much).