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Bluetooth key proximity

Much to my surprise today I tried the doorhandle of our Model 3 when my phone was maybe 6m away in the house and it opened. I tested again with the phone on the bedside table, maybe 7m away (front of the house) and the door opened again. Bit of a shock as it looks like I've been inadvertently leaving the car "locked" but actually unlocked for the last month. Whoops. I have PTD enabled and CCTV etc but not a good plan!

Anyone else able to open their car when their phone is maybe 20 to 25 ft away?

Cheers
 

davidmc

Active Member
May 20, 2019
1,663
1,878
Leicester
Have you got the settings correct in the car? Lock on walk away? Just checking as this will just leave you doors unlocked and mine was not set when I picked it up and set up my phone the first time.

Mine locks at 1m away and won't unlock unless I'm literally near the doors of the car.
 
Couple of feet maximum for me.

Is walk away lock enabled? When I got my car the employee told me the car would automatically lock but failed to tell me that was disabled by default.. (oh, and failed to mention pin to drive). I nearly left it unlocked in a supermarket car park half an hour later.. luckily I checked the app.
 
Have you got the settings correct in the car? Lock on walk away? Just checking as this will just leave you doors unlocked and mine was not set when I picked it up and set up my phone the first time.

Mine locks at 1m away and won't unlock unless I'm literally near the doors of the car.
Hmmm. Interesting, this setting was off but then I have definitely been locking the car with the app. I've set it to "on" and now the phone has to be much closer before it unlocks. I still think this is odd as why would this setting affect the distance for the phone key where you've done a manual lock? Weirdness. But thanks anyway as I think this solves it! Cheers.
 
I'd be in the doghouse if I enabled Dog mode with her in the car :D

The alarm goes off and she's treated to a dose of loud rock music.
I did this to my mum once - she stayed in the car while I went into the chippy and I locked the door without thinking about it. A few minutes later someone walks in laughing that there's a lady in a blue car with the alarm going off, angrily waving in our direction :cool:
 
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Reactions: Roy W.
I did this to my mum once - she stayed in the car while I went into the chippy and I locked the door without thinking about it. A few minutes later someone walks in laughing that there's a lady in a blue car with the alarm going off, angrily waving in our direction :cool:[/QUOTE]

Oh this is happening! (Accidentally of course)
 
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Reactions: Roy W.
The international bluetooth spec actually calls out for 30 feet, so not surprised at the 7m reach.
I'm currently disabling bluetooth as I'm still getting unexpected unlock issues even 6 or 7 m away and with the "lock on walk away" setting active. A web search also shows quite a lot of others suffering with this. I still suspect there may be even more who have it but haven't spotted it yet. Weird one and not very clever from a security perspective. It's clearly not 100% robust for all devices.
 
Maybe there could be a future option to allow proximity to be user defined based say on signal strength?

Could easily be that it already does this. Some of us just have stronger signals than others.

Seems likely that Bluetooth would adjust its transmit power to a minimum required to achieve the communications data rate it requires at the time. Probably controlled by the receiving device (the car), which knows the signal to noise of the received signal. So maybe Tesla is asking for a really low power from the phone to see if it's close enough. Maybe the phone says it's at its lowest power. But maybe the phone's lowest power is higher/lower than average. The Tesla might think the phone was nearer/farther away than it actually is.

One workaround would be to measure the time for a round trip signal and acknowledgement. But what if the phone delays a little more or less than average when sending the acknowledgement? The car thinks it is farther/closer than it actually is. This is a simple problem only if Bluetooth has a standard feature to do this.

My Android Nokia 6.1 needs to be out of my (front) pocket, and sometimes turned on, or our Model 3 won't unlock or start. After I'm sitting in the car and have pressed the brake pedal to start the car I can then put my phone away. For unlocking, some of the delay might be just the phone powering up after powering down to save battery. But if I get the car unlocked it still won't start if I've put the phone back in my pocket before sitting down. No way my phone will work from 7m away. Although it will say "connected" throughout my house, so the signal is there but doesn't trigger whatever Tesla is looking for to unlock the car. My X's key fob is a different story.
 
I've found that I can use Google assistant to quickly enable/disable bluetooth and that the re-connection to the car is just a few seconds, often nearly instant. So it's a bit of a pain still but I'd rather go through that short routine than have the car sat open on the drive. Is there some way of reporting oddities like this back to Tesla so they can actually see what's going on with edge cases in the field? It's a security fail which needs looking at. Quite a few people out there are experiencing it.
 

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