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Tesla backing away from "Phone Key as primary key"

Discussion in 'Model 3: User Interface' started by watilo, Jul 25, 2018.

?

How often does Phone Key work for you?

  1. Android - 100% of the time

    10.2%
  2. Android - 75%-99% of the time

    15.8%
  3. Android - <75% of the time

    8.3%
  4. iPhone - 100% of the time

    38.5%
  5. iPhone - 75%-99% of the time

    23.4%
  6. iPhone - <75% of the time

    3.8%
  1. watilo

    watilo Member

    Joined:
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    I emailed Tesla about the problems with Phone Key, and to ask if they're planning a key fob. The reply I got?

    Phone access is a convenience feature only, and not meant to be the primary form of access.
    WOW. This straight up contradicts what we were all told upon taking delivery, AND what is printed in their instructional materials.

    From the Phone Key Youtube video:

    Set up your Tesla app as a Phone Key—your primary method of accessing and starting your car, via Bluetooth.
    From the Tesla website:

    We recommend the Phone Key as the primary method of accessing and starting your vehicle.

    Seems like they're walking back their confidence in Phone Key, and so instead of being willing to fix the issues, they're just going to pretend like it wasn't supposed to be the primary key to begin with.

    Stellar work, Tesla. Unreal.
     

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  2. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    I'm fine with the phone key being available, as long as a FULLY RELIABLE FOB is also available. If you like spending your time troubleshooting malfunctioning technology, updating OS's, calling tech support, etc, you should be free to use the phone key. For those who don't enjoy that sort of thing, a fully reliable way to enter the and start the car should be available. They got rid of the fob way too early. And don't tell me the key card is any substitute for a fob either. It's not. Tesla replaced one fully reliable functional key with two less reliable less functional keys. That's not progress.
     
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  3. Shygar

    Shygar Member

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    Yea but the key card is a $5 replacement from Tesla if you lose it. If you lose the FOB it's probably $500 like every other car company out there. Phone always works for me, although because of the magnets on my case I have to take it out of my pocket sometimes. But it always works. I never had to use the key card.
     
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  4. Tiger

    Tiger Active Member

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    Never, I don't own a smartphone yet since they are too bulky.
     
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  5. Pkmmte

    Pkmmte Le meow

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    Maybe they misunderstood it as using the app's remote unlock as a primary method, since the Model S and Model X don't have the Model 3's modern phone-as-key functionality yet. I don't see why they'd go back to a bulky key fob for primary entry again.
     
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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  7. TT97

    TT97 Active Member

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    Their reply is confusing. They say the primary access to the vehicle is the key fob - obviously, this applies only to the S & X.The phone access is a convenience feature for the S/X (not the 3).

    They mentioned the 3 comes with 2 "physical" key cards but they do not mention them as the primary access for the 3.
     
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  8. Shygar

    Shygar Member

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    The one thing I would say would be helpful with a key fob is to open the frunk. I use it daily and have to open up the app to open it. But in reality it's not that big of an inconvenience. Even if I had a fob it would probably stay locked up somewhere so it doesn't get worn down.
     
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  9. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Yeah, they are clearly realizing that the phone key wasn’t such a great idea. If you’ve never had a problem, then that’s great for you, but it’s also important to recognize that there are a significant amount of owners who have had trouble. Both of my iPhone keys have failed various times. Works flawlessly about 85% of the time, but that’s not what I consider reliable.

    On the Model S, a fob replacement runs you about $125 IIRC
     
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  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    No, this is just an example of stupid things Tesla people have said. Don’t make anything out of it. The rep was obviously confusing the Model 3 phone key (which is intended to be primary access) with the Tesla app unlocking and starting the Model S and X. The latter has always been touted as a convenience feature only and not to be used as the primary key.
     
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  11. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    SO FAR. The "phone key problems" thread is filled with people saying it works fine for them, who return a few pages later to say it started acting up. It will never be as reliable as a fob for everyone.
     
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  12. andremc

    andremc Member

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    I’ve never had a key fob to work 100% of the time. My experience is that I often have to press the lock/unlock button 2-3 times for it to do what it’s supposed to do. Even my “keyless” entry on my Infiniti fails from time to time.

    The only (most significant) difference is that when my phone key fails on the model 3, it takes a few seconds longer to get in the car. I understand how that can be an inconvenience, but you know when it’s never failed me? When I open the app in advance. So, if I’m in the grocery store and it starts raining, guess what I do before walking outside...I wake up the car through the app. I likely don’t need to, but I do it “just in case.” The same way I take my key fob out of my pocket before walking out into the rain in case it fails on me.

    Was the phone key an innovative idea? Yes. Do I think it was implemented poorly? No. From my experience, it’s about as reliable as a key fob. And if it does fail, I have a key card who’s has never failed. I really don’t understand the copious amounts of complaining. Like Steve Jobs said (paraphrasing), get on board, or get a different car.
     
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  13. fr100

    fr100 Member

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    Maybe they got their canned replies mixed up and sent you the one for people trying to unlock using the button in the phone app.
     
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  14. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    So far it's been 6 months and 8000 miles. I put 100%, although in fairness I have had the car fail to unlock a few times.

    Once I had left my phone in the house.
    A couple of times I had airplane mode turned on.
    Once I had earlier deliberately turned my phone off.

    But I agree that pretty much by definition it will never be as reliable as a dedicated key fob for everybody. There's just too many variables with a phone. Just like a smart phone isn't as reliable at making a phone call as a decades old standard phone.
     
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  15. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    People quote Steve Jobs like he was jesus leading us to the light. He was a human just like everyone else who often made stupid creations. Remember the Newton?
    Even elon has admitted mistakes, like the gullwing doors and over-automating the assembly line. I guess he should get a different car too?
     
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  16. andremc

    andremc Member

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    Of course he wasn’t Jesus, and he made numerous mistakes; but I can see that the point went completely over your head, so let me break it down simply for you.

    A man who’s company changed the way we use technology once said, “this is how it’s going to be. You don’t have to like it, but you also don’t have to use it.” (Again, very loosely paraphrasing, but that was his philosophy.)

    The car uses a phone as your key. If you don’t like it, use the card. If you like neither, don’t buy the car. It’s really simple. Asking a company to re-engineer something that works is a bit unrealistic.
     
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  17. N5329K

    N5329K Active Member

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    I like neither and I canceled as a result. But I believe that many here are asking the company to re-engineer something that should work every time, all the time, and, for a sizable number of owners, does not. Very different. If it works for you every time, all the time, count yourself fortunate.
    Robin
     
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  18. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

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    It has been much better for me the last few weeks. I think since 21.9. I'm probably at 95% with Android.
     
  19. andremc

    andremc Member

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    It wasn’t the right choice for you, and you made the most appropriate decision based on the knowledge you had. No one can fault you for that.

    Two things, though:
    1. No technology works 100% of the time
    2. Based on the responses to the poll here (which I recognize as not statistically significant), the vast majority of the people are having at least a 75% success rate. Even there, that’s not really telling. Personally, I voted 75-99%. The actual rate is probably around 98%, and I’ve had the car just shy of two months. I’m sure there are others that fall closer to the 75% side, but still, far more people having success than not.

    I’m not sure that’s a good cause for re-engineering. And yes, I’m aware of the 40+ page thread about phone key problems. Many of them are more related to user error than an implantation failure. It’s the same thing that happened with early key fobs, or any other new technology. There will be growing pains, but as long as it’s not a complete failure (I can still get into the car with the key card), I’m here for the ride.
     
  20. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    I replaced a Model S key fob for $AUD174, about $USD140.
    Literally sank a boat in shark-infested waters. Fob was the last thing on my mind :)
     
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