Tesla Phone Keys Now Support Ultra-Wideband for iPhone
Tesla has announced an update to its vehicles, introducing support for ultra-wideband (UWB) technology in its 2024.2.3 software update, aimed at significantly improving the functionality and reliability of Tesla phone keys, reports Not a Tesla App.
This cutting-edge wireless protocol, which requires compatible hardware in both the vehicle and the user’s smartphone, will initially be available only on select recent Tesla models.
Ultra-wideband technology offers a more precise and energy-efficient alternative to Bluetooth for short-range communication between devices. It enables high-precision location tracking, which is essential for accurately determining the distance between multiple UWB-equipped devices. This advancement is set to enhance the experience of using Tesla phone keys, which allow owners to lock and unlock their vehicles without a physical key and share access digitally.
The integration of UWB technology addresses occasional recognition issues with current phone keys, where the car may not detect the phone’s proximity without manual intervention. With UWB, Tesla vehicles can precisely locate the phone, improving not only access features but also other functionalities that depend on the phone’s location, such as automatic driver profile selection.
To utilize the improved UWB phone key feature, Tesla owners will need to set it up through the Tesla app, which will guide users through upgrading their phone key and granting necessary permissions for UWB access. This setup is required for the feature to function and is supported on iPhones from the 11 series onwards, with the Tesla app version 4.29.5 or higher.
Apple leverages UWB in its iPhones to allow for its Precision Finding feature for AirTags.
Supported Tesla models for this feature include the new Model 3 and the 2023 Model X, with refreshed Model S and Model X vehicles also expected to receive the update. The upcoming Cybertruck is anticipated to support UWB as well. Unfortunately, the first-generation Model 3 and the current Model Y do not have UWB hardware.
While initial UWB support will cater to iPhone users, Tesla plans to extend compatibility to Android devices in the future. Currently, several Android smartphones, including the Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S series (S21 and later), feature UWB hardware.