Can I start/drive a Model S with just my iPhone 6 (no key FOB)?

Can I start/drive a Model S with just my iPhone 6 (no key FOB)?

I ordered a 70D in early May and it's scheduled to be delivered in late June. I was curious if I can start and drive my Model S with just my iPhone 6, without having the FOB with me? Can I do that?

If so, does it require the Tesla iPhone app?

I also saw in the Apple App store there is an app called "Remote S for Tesla." That one made it sound like I can start the Model S with just my iPhone and TouchID.

Dramsey | June 9, 2015

Yes, you can unlock, enter, and drive the car with just the iPhone 6 and the free Tesla app. Note that there is the possibility of trouble if you park the car in an are with no cell reception.

Remote S is an app for the Apple Watch that replicates the features of the iPhone app. It's independently written and costs a couple of bucks.

DJung | June 9, 2015

Yes, but it's an emergency feature, so don't expect to leave your fob at home all the time. It's for certain cases where you accidentally lose the fob, your fob ran out of battery, etc. If you park your car in an underground parking garage or any place without AT&T cellular reception, your phone app will be unable to send a start command to the car thus leaving you stranded.

browng1 | June 10, 2015

So I need cell reception for this feature to work... I see. Thanks for clarifying. Sure would be nice if it simply worked with just the Phone w/out cell reception (using some type of encrypted BT signal). I just don't see the need for the FOB since I always have my iPhone on me and it would be nice to use that as the Model S "key." Maybe someday they'll make it like this.

Mireille and Conan | June 10, 2015

Also, the MS can connect to WiFi that doesn't allow internet access. If that occurs, the app will not connect to the car even if there is a strong cellular signal.

PaceyWhitter | June 10, 2015

Connection without going through the internet would be interesting. How would it work? My first thought would be to use Bluetooth but I don't know if it would connect unless you were right next to the car. You might get annoyed waiting. Wi-Fi would be a better signal, not sure if the security implications.

Rocky_H | June 10, 2015

My wife has an iPhone 5S, and she basically doesn't want to ever bring the FOB when she takes the Tesla now, since the app works so well for that. We don't have any underground parking garages around here, and AT&T signal is really good in our city, so it works great.

ssarker | June 11, 2015

Also works great when you realize after you drive off that the fob went with the person you dropped off.

msjs45414 | December 5, 2015

NFC would be better than nothing and very secure.

scruzloose33 | December 5, 2015

I would be very careful leaving the fob at home. I find many times when my iPhone cannot connect to the MS even when both have great cellular reception. When this happens, I need to reboot the Tesla using the steering wheel to get it working again. This may be due to me frequently using a jetpack for wifi inside the car and it doesn't always disconnect properly, but I wouldn't take that risk given my experience.

b.tesla | December 5, 2015

Now that an old thread has been resurrected, this has me thinking. What if, through the Tesla app, your smartphone created an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network that the MS would connect to? Then the phone and MS could directly talk to each other without relying on AT&T or cellular strength or the cloud or the internet. It would interrupt/break any other Wi-Fi connections you may have had on your phone while it has the ad-hoc Wi-Fi enabled.

justin.cockett | December 5, 2015

Hi guys,

All of the above work-rounds, BT, Wi-Fi ad-hoc etc could be made to work, but these architectures all have one big flaw.... Security! Tesla ensure security partly by having a very well encrypted VPN between the car and the Tesla cloud servers, introducing another "way in" would open up the car to all sorts of possible hacks and vulnerabilities. Best to stick with trusting Tesla on this one.