Friday, December 3

I can’t open my Tesla: that a mobile app is the alternative to the key of a lifetime has its risks

“Look Paco, Look how cool my Tesla is, I don’t need a key. I bring my mobile closer and it opens without further ado, “says Pepe proudly, who takes out his mobile and brings it closer to the door of his brand-new Model 3. Nothing happens there. Pepe looks at his mobile and, surprised and defenseless, tells his friend : “Come on, it doesn’t work.” Paco remains as is, looking at him and smiling to himself.

The protagonists of this story are fictional, but the story is not: dozens of Tesla electric car owners have posted messages in forums and on Twitter advising that can’t open their cars with the Tesla mobile app. A glitch in the app caused that little chaos – one that once again proves that cutting-edge technology has its risks.

Using the mobile to open the car is great until it stops being.

Even Elon Musk ended up answering one of those affected on Twitter. His message was brief, and with the word “Checking” he only indicated that they were checking the problem and trying to fix it. Later he ended up posting another message indicating that the application was operational again.

Currently there four ways to open a Tesla:

  1. Bluetooth on mobile: Both Model 3 and Model Y use this method primarily. There is no Tesla server in action, and there is simply communication between the car and the mobile, which are paired. The car opens by proximity when it detects the mobile nearby.
  2. Card as key: Both Model 3 and Model Y offer this alternative up front — also you can buy more– and until you pair your mobile with the car, but you can continue using it as a backup or if you want to give someone else access to open the car.
  3. Physical key: the traditional key is also used, but it was used essentially in the Model S and Model X.
  4. Remotely with the mobile app: by connecting to the Tesla servers with your credentials it is also possible to open the car by sending a remote command.

It is in the latter case that there is a need for internet access and that both the car and the mobile phone can connect to the server that acts as an intermediary for this operation. Musk indicated that the problem was due to a misconfiguration of your network traffic and he assured that they would take measures so that the problem did not recur.

Tesla long ago introduced this “mobile key” function in the application that the manufacturer offers for smartphones. It is not available for all its models – it works in the Model 3 and Model Y -, but for those in which it is it is possible to use Bluetooth connectivity so that the car opens by proximity.

Tesla too offers the aforementioned physical NFC cards that also serve as a key and that they are a backup method, but the existence of the application seems to have caused many users to use the mobile app and leave the NFC cards —Or one of the other alternatives— at home.

Via | BBC

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