Saw one of the photos from Reddit user youyouxue and noticed a key card in the center cup holders of the model 3 interior. I think “Model 3” is inscribed on the card as well if you zoom in closely to the cup holders.
Here is the link to the photo: https://i.redd.it/xk0ury7b545z.jpg
I can't see what use a key card would be for a car. It is probably just a card they have to have in order to "check out" a car for testing, or maybe it's just an id card.
The card clearly says “Model 3” on the front of it and does not look like a Tesla employee badge whatsoever. I think it’s safe to say that this might be the final key they decided to go with on the Model 3 vs. the current Model S/X fob style
No way that they will use a key card instead of a fob
the key card concept makes things incredibly light and simple. if it is always in your wallet you never lose it. and having your phone as a back up is just making things easier
dsvick: There has been the occasional Tesla Enthusiast that has requested a credit card sized/shaped 'fob' for car access. They've said it would be nice to just keep it in their wallet and have the car unlock as they approached, and lock itself as they walk away. They would rather do that than fish around in a pocket for a fob. They say their wallet would always be on them, but that it would be easier to inadvertently lose a fob. They also note that some car or other they had previously owned (Lexus, maybe?) used a card instead and they found it extremely convenient. But I agree with you, it is highly unlikely that Tesla will abandon their current fob in favor of cards.
Car sharing companies have a concept where you hold a key card to the windshield to access and activate the car, automatically registering the access, checking out the car from the fleet and billing customers account.
Maybe the key card is part of a car sharing solution.
Mobility Car sharing Card Accesshttps://www.mobility.ch/en/private-customers/how-it-works/easy/
Very likely this key card will be the key for the car as Tesla is trying to reduce with the model 3 and the current car shaped fob on the MS and the MX costs way to much for a $35,000 vehicle. A simple plastic key card most likely costs less than a dollar to produce and can easily be replaced if lost and deactivated if stolen.
The S and X use the key fob for the summon feature. So I guess the only way to summon a 3 would be from the tesla App if this key card is really the plan?
If that in fact is the "key", that is just going to further blow people's minds. People still get blown away by my MS's literal Matchbox car key fob.
Though I don't completely agree with the notion that this would illuminate the inadvertent loss of a key fob. We take our wallets in and out during through out the day, whereas there is no "normal course of business" reason to take out the FOB.
The company I work for has a card/badge security system to get in the building. My Tesla card will fit nicely next to that in my wallet. (I'd still rather have a Tesla ring instead... But that would be TOO cool for me)
Side comment- the screen looks really bad with all the fingerprints on it... I'll have to make sure the display is always on to minimize the smudges
1) Male dominated conversation (wallet)
2) Given the option, I would stick a key card in my wallet as a backup to the fob. (I literally carry a filed down key to my card in a crevice of my wallet. Every once in a while....)
I don't think that's a key at all. It looks like just a card.
And PS - that steering wheel is definitely a dummy wheel in my humble opinion.
I agree with Jordan that although the key card is prone to getting lost, it will be much cheaper to replace and won’t require battery changes like the current fob on the S and the X. Not sure if the key card will automatically unlock the vehicle (Bluetooth/Radio Wave) or will have to be tapped on something (NFC)??
To get any decent distance a key fob needs a battery.
Card keys are usually passive (no battery) and must be placed within an inch of the sensor.
Sorry Philly, if you zoom in, that card looks too fat to be "just a card". Passive RFID likely. SUN 2 DRV is right about those, you have to get them very close to the reader field to be a proximity key. Like using one to get into my building, you have to practically touch your wallet/purse to the sensor to activate. If the 3 uses passive RFID to open the doors you're soon going to rub a dull spot into the paint in the reader area. I'm going to keep pleading for my cellphone bluetooth to notify my car I'm approaching. That S/X key fob is larger than anything I want to add to my pocket.
So, a key card, or key fob can be used interchangeably depending on the frequency. You can provide access to something via the same card reader with either a key fob or card as long as the frequency is programmed properly. This doesn't mean a whole lot at this stage, other than cards are a lot cheaper.
Things I don't see:
How do you open the doors from inside? There's a little space in the shadows at the top of the handle that could be a release button. Or maybe the doors open when you release the seatbelt (I wouldn't like that.) Voice activated? "Open the pod bay doors HAL." What could go wrong?
A lever for tilt steering?!?
Interval wiper selector. The Teslarati and Electrek articles show and mention a rain sensor just above the front camera. Auto wiper speed I guess.
I think a key card would be too impractical. Sure, you could keep in in your wallet so it is more likely to be with you all the time and less likely to get lost and it might look cool to all your friends and neighbors, but that's about it.
How would open the trunk or frunk from the outside, with your hands full?
The range on a card is usually pretty limited, I've got one for work and it has to be within inches of the sensor. I think it'll look a little strange to have to rub my butt all over the car just to get in it.
How would you summon the car with the key card? Or would you have to use the phone app as was suggested above?
The keycard might be a nice alternative/addition to the fob but I hope their is still a fob.
Agreed - the useful range on passive RFID is measured in inches, whileactive can reach several hundred feet.
While a fob is a bit of a lump, it has the space for things like batteries and transmitters, which make it useful.
Soumeone icould* do a thinner and flatter fob, but I don't know that you could do the whole battery/radio thing in a card-key form factor.
Plus card keys carried in wallets tend to get a bit bent over time - not good for sensitive circuitry
I would much prefer a key card even if its range is limited to more or less contact - like NFC/contactless/paywave cards. Fobs are a lump I'd readily rather not carry one around. More advanced features like summon or could be from the app.
I still hope its a car shaped fob. Mainly because it looks/feels cool and is unique. Having to fish a key card out of a wallet/purse feels like work. Id much prefer the more fun option
If the "fob" really does turn out to be an RFID card, I would expect it to be an emergency backup system for use in the dead fob battery tricks that are used on the S/X. I would expect that they would intend for you to use the Tesla app as a replacement for all the other things the fob is used for. They'd have to enhance the app, but I'd almost prefer that to a traditional fob.
Cards will work thru your wallet/purse. I just back my a$$ up to the sensor to open the door at work. But (no pun intended) I'd like my 3 to work like the front door of my house that unlocks when my phone gets close, or that I can unlock for someone else from anywhere. If I can use a phone app to heat/cool my car, it doesn't seem like a stetch that my phone could be my open/run fob too. If you want a matchbox Tesla to carry in your pocket, it should be an optional upgrade at configuration. How much would you be willing to pay?
Nice try guys. Keycard seems a step back. What the cool factor in that? Does not look too futuristic to me.
Then how do you open the trunk with card
"Then how do you open the trunk with card"
Easy, you just back your butt up to the sensor on the trunk lid. :-)
Then but is someone back your but to the trunk :)
But if someone back your butt to the trunk :)
no seriously if you want to open the trunk from far away
Why do you want to open the trunk from far away? I've never done such a thing. When I want to open my trunk, I walk up and hit the release button on the trunk handle. It detects the key in my pocket and unlocks itself. It could do the same thing with an app on my smartphone/watch.
I suppose if you really needed to open the trunk from far away, you could do that through the app on your device. That's how you remotely turn on the climate control on a Tesla, which is a much more useful thing to do than open the trunk and *can't* be done with just a fob...
maybe your phone will do everything?
I'd love to have my phone be my key and do everything - with a card in my wallet as a backup in case my phone's dead. Hell of a lot better than carrying around a bulbous key fob - although I would love to have one (that I didn't have to carry) because I think the bitty Tesla is cool.
If your phone can do every thing why do you need a card and i have done 100s time open my trunk in parking lot for others to put stuff in my car at my work .
never got my phone dead till today.
charger in car charger in home and at work.
Why would the engineer leave the "key" in the car?
My own preference is for the fob - I don't want to have to fumble around with a phone app or back my a$$ up to the door handle when all I want to do is get in and drive. Likewise a single button lock/unlock for the passenger door or trunk is simpler (for me) than again fumbling around with a phone or needing to back my a$$ up to yet another sensor...
Dunno - tastes are all over the map on this one. Given that I already have a key ring with a bunch of keys on it, the fob doesn't bother me in the least
That's funny...I have our S fob and our house key...that's it. If I don't have a fob to carry for my model 3, what will my house key go with? lol
I'm jealous! I have a house key, two different office keys, a PO Box key, two locking cabinet keys and the key for the security cable on my office laptop (mandatory for office-provided equipment)
Given all that, the fob seems almost an afterthought! ;-)
KP and eeb9, y'all need to join the rest of us in the 21st century. The RFID ID badge that I carry in my wallet opens the door to my building at my assigned station, every other fire station in the city, our supply warehouse, several of the areas I've been granted access to and the automatic gate to the parking lot there, access to our training facility and grounds, some of the rooms at our Administration building, the lot and facilities for our vehicle repair shop and any of the dozen or so fueling sites. That's ONE credit card sized "key" At home, the door deadbolts and garage opener as well as lights and HVAC are an app on my phone. When I walk or ride my bike to work I carry no keys all day. My current car key is alone on a ring (I don't know why I have it on a ring?!?). When I go to my cabin I have a ring with a gate padlock key and its door key. Three traditional keys in my life that I only carry on occasion. And I LOVE it.
@elephant in a bottle,
Nice to see you're back.
KP in NPT: Perhaps the cupholder area is a purposeful 'dead spot' in the car... But I think it more likely that keycard is simply for something else entirely.
Funny, the cupholder is the spot to put the fob in the S/X if you are having a hard time getting a signal.
Hey sbeggs!! It's been awhile .. did brian h ever come back?
If this is a prototype for testing should have a kill switch as seen on other vehcles. Is this a productiin ready vehicle ?????.
@jashangrewal, no. One of the shots of this car showed the passenger footwell where there were a bunch of diagnostic ports and a mess of wires. This is a pre production car.
I didn't mention the card key I carry that gets me into about 30 different buildings and zones at work... ;-)
Thing is, it's still a prox card and has to be held within an inch or two of the reader to work. Then of course all the interior locks are keyed
I'm not arguing for a card key, I politicking for a bluetooth key. My phone, or my watch, or an implant? anything I'm carrying anyway. I have a shapely figure and don't want anything else to spoil my lines.*
https://en (dot) wikipedia (dot) org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog#/media/File:Internet_dog.jpg
If it's a keycard I think my biggest problem would be trunk and frunk access. I, quite often, walk out of a store with my arms full with either grocery bags or a box or something else that would make having to get my phone out and open the app and then open the trunk almost impossible and having to rub my butt against the car then turn around and open the trunk highly inconvenient.
It is probably a key card that gets you into the diagnostic screens of the car.
@Wildcardtaylortesla - good call, I hadn't thought of that. That could well be it since a password wouldn't make sense.