Tesla -6.0-

Tesla Motors, known for changing the automobile industry with its innovative electric cars, will update its Model S firmware in the coming months to allow owners to start and drive the Model S with only an iPhone. While it isn’t yet exactly certain how this will work, there is speculation that it will involve Touch ID and may coincide with the launch of iOS 8 next month. The above screenshot of Version 6 is said to be in late beta stages and being finalized for full rollout now.

Tesla’s iPhone app won our 2013 app of the year and the ability to start the car and drive it would continue down that same innovative road.  Other systems for starting a car and driving it from a mobile phone already exist for 3rd parties like Viper and others.

Tesla has been busy snapping up Apple employees over the past year. Only weeks after poaching Apple Mac Hardware Vice President Doug Field to run Vehicle Design, Tesla snapped up Director of Manufacturing technology Rich Heley. Then security researcher Kristin Paget joined in February. Also, much of Tesla’s UI design team comes from Apple.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was also spotted at Apple last year and while speculation was that Apple was considering a buyout (shot down) or becoming an investor in Tesla’s battery Gigafactory, perhaps Musk was simply looking to better integrate the iPhone with his cars.

Musk also got into a heated debate with an iPhone engineer at a recent energy forum in San Francisco.

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8 Responses to “Tesla to allow iPhone to start Model S without key/fobs with v6.0 update”

  1. weissblut says:

    Where does it say that you can drive your Tesla with the App? That would be quite SciFi… but I think it’s wrong, unless I am missing something!

    Like

  2. Starting your car with you phone as opposed to a key fob – isn’t new and Tesla isn’t the first. This is already available as a feature on the BMW i3 – indeed security specialists have already highlighted that it can be compromised on the BMW….

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  3. The big news here is not that the iPhone can start someone’s Tesla. Starting a car with an iPhone App is nothing new. The interesting thing is the HOW the Tesla key FOB connects with the car and turns it on — it contains an NFC chip. If this article is true, then this is strong evidence that the iPhone 6 will indeed finally contain an NFC chip, and this feature of the Tesla iPhone app will only be available on the iPhone 6 when it is released.

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  4. “Musk also got into a heated debate with an iPhone engineer at a recent energy forum in San Francisco.”

    Wow, if you think that was a “heated debate” you must be a home-schooled, only child.

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  5. It’d be cool if there was a “cut engine because it’s been stolen” switch. That also locks the doors to prevent anyone from leaving until the cops show up.

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  6. Ted Hu says:

    this demonstrates the flexibility of Tesla’s OTA firmware updates. Viper was first blah blah.

    The larger point is the interconnected ecosystem that keeps accusing value for Tesla owners. Being new is only half the battle. Getting it right, for the longest, is what matters.

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  7. Ted Hu says:

    this demonstrates the flexibility of Tesla’s OTA firmware updates. Viper was first blah blah.

    The larger point is the interconnected ecosystem that keeps accruing value for Tesla owners. Being new is only half the battle. Getting it right, for the longest, is what matters.

    Like