If someone takes my phone, can they drive my car away?

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#1
While telling my coworkers that my phone works as a key for the Model 3, they jokingly said they would grab my phone off my desk when I wasn't there and go take my car for a joyride. Not that I'm worried that they would actually do it, but it got me thinking - is that all it takes?
 

3V Pilot

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#2
While telling my coworkers that my phone works as a key for the Model 3, they jokingly said they would grab my phone off my desk when I wasn't there and go take my car for a joyride. Not that I'm worried that they would actually do it, but it got me thinking - is that all it takes?
Yep, same as if you left your car keys or keyfob on your desk. The nice thing about this setup though is you no longer have to keep track of both keys and cell phone. My new cell phone cover has a wallet built in, just enough room for a drivers licenses and credit card, it's the only thing I'll ever need to carry once I get the car.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#3
Exactly what @Mike Land said, leaving your phone on your desk is no different than leaving your keys on your desk. That said, with everything on your phone already these days -- it really should never be out of your sight.

One kicker -- you lose your phone. You can manage your "phone keys" and remove your phone as a key from the car, so basically if your phone develops legs and walks away, head right out to your car with your backup key card, and make sure to remove the phone from your car's key list.
 

Oregonian

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#4
Wouldn't the phone have to be unlocked? I'm not familiar enough with the system. I know that it's Bluetooth, and that it's paired. But is all It needs to be is paired?You don't have to do anything else?
 

3V Pilot

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#5
Wouldn't the phone have to be unlocked? I'm not familiar enough with the system. I know that it's Bluetooth, and that it's paired. But is all It needs to be is paired?You don't have to do anything else?
I'm sure @SoFlaModel3 or another owner can confirm this but I believe the phone does not need to be unlocked. Once the car "sees" the phone it's unlocked and ready to drive off as soon as you put your foot on the brake.
 

LUXMAN

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#6
Wouldn't the phone have to be unlocked? I'm not familiar enough with the system. I know that it's Bluetooth, and that it's paired. But is all It needs to be is paired?You don't have to do anything else?
Nope. Just have the app open in the background and the phone on your person. The BT will pair within a few feet (13 feet in my testing) and grab the handle and go.
 

Oregonian

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#7
Nope. Just have the app open in the background and the phone on your person. The BT will pair within a few feet (13 feet in my testing) and grab the handle and go.
So the app needs to be open. If it's not and your phone is locked then they can't take your car if they have your phone.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#8
Nope. Just have the app open in the background and the phone on your person. The BT will pair within a few feet (13 feet in my testing) and grab the handle and go.
Actually I’m pretty sure you can “hard close” and it still runs in the background and serves as the key.
 

LUXMAN

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#9
So the app needs to be open. If it's not and your phone is locked then they can't take your car if they have your phone.
Yes I just signed out of my app and could not open the car. The second I logged back in, I was able to open it.
Not that that one test proves it but I tried to open it a few times and then as soon as I logged in it worked. And I have had no issues with the car and BT and getting in since I got it.
 

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#10
So the app needs to be open. If it's not and your phone is locked then they can't take your car if they have your phone.
And to be clear with my test there. App being open just means that you are signed in and the app is running in the background. So with that and a locked phone, you can get in and go.
So if you wanted to sign out of the app, you could and the phone won’t open the doors via BT.
Additionally, you can have Touch ID enabled for the app (iOS, not sure about android) and you could log out at work say, and when you go home sign in with your fingerprint and the car would open as you approached.
 

3V Pilot

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#11
Yes I just signed out of my app and could not open the car. The second I logged back in, I was able to open it.
Not that that one test proves it but I tried to open it a few times and then as soon as I logged in it worked. And I have had no issues with the car and BT and getting in since I got it.
So, if you wanted to mess with your co-workers just sign out of the app, leave your phone on the desk and let them give it a try. Once they ask why it didn't work tell them that the car also scans your DNA profile and zaps you with the Radar if your not the right person!
 

GDN

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#12
And to be clear with my test there. App being open just means that you are signed in and the app is running in the background. So with that and a locked phone, you can get in and go.
So if you wanted to sign out of the app, you could and the phone won’t open the doors via BT.
Additionally, you can have Touch ID enabled for the app (iOS, not sure about android) and you could log out at work say, and when you go home sign in with your fingerprint and the car would open as you approached.
Luxman, you're so last year, you now need some Face ID. Sorry, just had to give you a hard time.
 

GDN

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#13
Yep, same as if you left your car keys or keyfob on your desk. The nice thing about this setup though is you no longer have to keep track of both keys and cell phone. My new cell phone cover has a wallet built in, just enough room for a drivers licenses and credit card, it's the only thing I'll ever need to carry once I get the car.
From the many stories reading here and else where you really want your NFC card in that built in wallet as well as a backup for when the BT doesn't work. Seems its not if, but when, BT won't work til the SW gets all the bugs worked out.
 

LUXMAN

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#14
Luxman, you're so last year, you now need some Face ID. Sorry, just had to give you a hard time.
Ha! I know right? I just a new battery for the 6 so I can kick that can down the road a few more years.
But to be clear on my post, the TESLA App has fingerprint ID if you want to re-login, does the iphone still have fingerprint ID for those apps? Or does it re=check your face?:p
 

SoFlaModel3

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#15
Ha! I know right? I just a new battery for the 6 so I can kick that can down the road a few more years.
But to be clear on my post, the TESLA App has fingerprint ID if you want to re-login, does the iphone still have fingerprint ID for those apps? Or does it re=check your face?:p
The iPhone X no longer supports Touch ID and only supports Face ID. The Tesla app does support Face ID though.
 

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#16
From the many stories reading here and else where you really want your NFC card in that built in wallet as well as a backup for when the BT doesn't work. Seems its not if, but when, BT won't work til the SW gets all the bugs worked out.
I agree and have a plan for to carry (or have access to) the card when needed. Seems like the newer software versions are getting much better at using the phone as a key but I'll always have at least one keycard with me.
 

theishu

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#17
Sounds like a good feature request opportunity for future software updates: potentially being able to set up a PIN before driving the car, to avoid the situation the OP described. I know most people would choose the convenience of simply walking in and driving their car, as they have their phones on them 90% of the time. But for us worriers, it might be a useful feature to disable the car, or maybe keep it in valet mode until the PIN is entered.
 

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#18
Sounds like a good feature request opportunity for future software updates: potentially being able to set up a PIN before driving the car, to avoid the situation the OP described. I know most people would choose the convenience of simply walking in and driving their car, as they have their phones on them 90% of the time. But for us worriers, it might be a useful feature to disable the car, or maybe keep it in valet mode until the PIN is entered.
You can accomplish the same thing now, just sign out of the Tesla app anytime you don't want the phone to have access to the car. Your log in might be slightly longer than a pin code but it would have the same effect as needing a pin.
 

PandaM3

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#19
Yep, same as if you left your car keys or keyfob on your desk. The nice thing about this setup though is you no longer have to keep track of both keys and cell phone. My new cell phone cover has a wallet built in, just enough room for a drivers licenses and credit card, it's the only thing I'll ever need to carry once I get the car.
I do the same, cell phone in a case combined with my wallet and credit cards + back up key card incase the phone fails (so far it hasn’t failed)

However you still need to carry keys to your home (even if you have an automated lock that works off the phone as well) so the phone/ wallet isn’t the only thing to be carrying.

That being said I have my back up key card and house key on a seperate keychain/ card holder still.

Here’s an idea for a software update... next update use the camera on the driver’s side B pillar as facial recognition to get into the car. I know that camera is not going to be as sophisticated as the face id on the iPhone X however I have a work around to keep up the security.
1) one tug on the door, then center screen wakes up.
2) put your face in proximity of the B pillar camera
3) once inside the car you enter a pin code on the center screen since you used face id to get in
4) once pin code is accepted you can start the car, drive it, unlock the glove box and trunk and frunk. That way even if someone where to put a picture of you in front of the camera... they still can’t drive off, get into your frunk or trunk, or into important documents in the glove box

This way you have 3 different ways to get in so even if you loose your phone & you don’t bring your back up key card with you since you now trust the phone will work 80% of the time then you still have a 3rd option for that 20% that it doesn’t work.
 

3V Pilot

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#20
I do the same, cell phone in a case combined with my wallet and credit cards + back up key card incase the phone fails (so far it hasn’t failed)

However you still need to carry keys to your home (even if you have an automated lock that works off the phone as well) so the phone/ wallet isn’t the only thing to be carrying.

That being said I have my back up key card and house key on a seperate keychain/ card holder still.

Here’s an idea for a software update... next update use the camera on the driver’s side B pillar as facial recognition to get into the car. I know that camera is not going to be as sophisticated as the face id on the iPhone X however I have a work around to keep up the security.
1) one tug on the door, then center screen wakes up.
2) put your face in proximity of the B pillar camera
3) once inside the car you enter a pin code on the center screen since you used face id to get in
4) once pin code is accepted you can start the car, drive it, unlock the glove box and trunk and frunk. That way even if someone where to put a picture of you in front of the camera... they still can’t drive off, get into your frunk or trunk, or into important documents in the glove box

This way you have 3 different ways to get in so even if you loose your phone & you don’t bring your back up key card with you since you now trust the phone will work 80% of the time then you still have a 3rd option for that 20% that it doesn’t work.
I don't carry house keys at all, my cell phone activates all smart home functions (locks/alarm/garage door) and even without it the Homelink from the car operates the garage. No need for any house keys at that point.

Interesting idea about the facial recognition, even if the camera was capable I doubt Tesla would go that route. Who knows though since they seem to do things that nobody else ever would. I like the idea of options to get into the car but if this worked I'd probably only use it as a backup. The phone solution will be great once all the bugs are worked out.