TM - put the fob functions in the mobile app!

TM - put the fob functions in the mobile app!

I want the mobile app to include all the features and functionality of the fob. Here's why:

1) I always have my phone and it's always charged.
2) I am more likely to lose the fob than my phone.
3) My phone (and/or the app) has a four-digit security PIN, the fob does not.
4) TM can update the app over the network to add new functionality.
5) Other posters have explained that with Bluetooth you can figure out the proximity of my phone to the car.
6) Friends and family can have access to the car - they just need to know the app PIN, which I control.
7) I'll bring a fob along if I know I will be using valet parking, taking my car in for service, etc.

I use my phone to access bank accounts, credit cards, and to pay for things. Please add "drive my Model S" to that list!

eltonf | 21 janvier 2013

It's a great idea in theory, but it poses a HUGE security risk if Tesla ever gets hacked. Every Model S in existence will suddenly become the easiest car to steal on the planet.

petero | 21 janvier 2013

I think it is a great idea. Period. No buts...

Klaus | 21 janvier 2013

Not all of us have an umbilical cord attaching us to our phones. I still prefer using a phone to make calls and leave others to interact socially with their heads buried in a smart phone. The fob does exactly what I need it to do, ie open the doors and allow me to drive away.

In over 50 years of driving, I have never lost a key. And in the recent past, have never had to charge one up to drive or for that matter even replace the battery in the fobs.

On the other hand, I have a daughter-in-law that has lost more cell phones than I care to remember. She isn't much better with car keys/fobs. Brings to mind a gas station restroom key attached to an old tire rim.

Getting Amped Again | 21 janvier 2013

eltonf | January 21, 2013 new

It's a great idea in theory, but it poses a HUGE security risk if Tesla ever gets hacked. Every Model S in existence will suddenly become the easiest car to steal on the planet.

If that happens I think we're SOL anyway as I'm pretty sure the vehicle VIN-RFID code relationships are stored on the TM servers. Not sure about a Model S, but the VIN for most cars is easily visible through the windshield and RFID spoof devices are most-likely easy to get.

Getting Amped Again | 21 janvier 2013

@Klaus - My post title is a little misleading. We still need fobs for people that prefer them, valet parking, etc. I just want the option of not having to carry it around with me.

Klaus | 21 janvier 2013

@Getting Amped Soon, good than please be my guest and continue to persue your request and I'll keep my fob.

noel.smyth | 21 janvier 2013

I like the idea of a feature rich mobile app to include the FOB features and more...

DouglasR | 21 janvier 2013

@Getting Amped Soon,

In order to unlock and present the car door handles via Bluetooth when you approach, the iPhone app would need to be running all the time in the background. Any idea what kind of battery drain that would create on the phone?

Getting Amped Again | 21 janvier 2013

@DouglasR - Here was my idea about how this would work:

Since many of us will be using the app to preheat/cool our car, I was thinking the app could also include a "Vehicle Access Window" that had a user-definable time period. When activated, the app continued to run and attempt to communicate with the car and would timeout if you didn't approach the car within the allotted time.

I would tell the car to wake up, set the internal temperature to 72F, start my favorite song, set my access window to five minutes, and head out!

GreenMachine13 | 21 janvier 2013

I like it. That would be a great option.

DouglasR | 21 janvier 2013

This is OK as an option, but I would still carry the fob. I don't access my car at the same time each day, so the "Vehicle Access Window" wouldn't work for me, and I think the battery drain would be too great if the app were continuously polling for the car over Bluetooth. Of course, it's not a great inconvenience to take the phone out of my pocket to open the doors and start the car, but what I like best about the fob is the ability to leave it in my pocket.

Getting Amped Again | 21 janvier 2013

@DouglasR - I understand what you're saying but you misunderstood me.

Whenever you accessed the app to set the car temperature, etc. you would start the Vehicle Access Window to give you enough time to get to your car. The Bluetooth polling would only be active during that time. You keep your phone in your pocket just like the fob. The polling stops when you enter the car or times out if you decide not to go. You set the access window time period (it's not the time of day).

Make sense?

DouglasR | 21 janvier 2013

Yes, I did misunderstand you. But the feature still requires taking the phone out of my pocket at some point before going to the car. I doubt that I would access the app to set the temperature, etc. very often, certainly not every time I drive. I am more likely to put charging and heating on a regular schedule(e.g., have the car fully charged and 65 degrees every morning by 8:00 a.m.), even when I don't intend to use the car until noon. So I'll keep the fob in my pocket anyway. And if I do that, I don't want a different device sending signals to the door handles.

drp | 21 janvier 2013


Are you Klaus O?

Robert22 | 21 janvier 2013

This is definitely a case where fob and phone are not mutually exclusive. Most will carry both anyway so..... choose your tech.

Brian H | 21 janvier 2013

A sub-dermal chip is what you need. Possibly not in the usual buttocks area, though.

Getting Amped Again | 21 janvier 2013

BrianH - if it would be my ID, method of payment, and access to my car, work and home I would do it! However it would spawn a new form of high tech mugging - ouch!

ir | 21 janvier 2013

@DouglasR, once Bluetooth is paired, it will automatically reconnect when in range. No need to press any buttons. This is strictly between your phone OS & car, app doesn't need to be running.

The only gotcha is that Tesla needs to dial down the BT range so a thief doesn't drive off / empty your car from your driveway just because your phone is charging from nearby window. I've accidentally "high jacked" my wife's phone call coming home from the grocery store because my Camry auto-connected to her iPhone's Bluetooth despite her being 2 floors above the garage in the bedroom. So I know BT can go pretty far.

Another idea might be to use the NFC feature of some Android phones but it is not very ubiquitous.

olanmills | 21 janvier 2013

There is one thing that I want in the opposite, something the app can do that the fob cannot. I wish the fob could turn the climate control on (but obviously it could only do whatever it was previously set at).