TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

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

    12.5%
  2. Android - 75%-99% of the time

    15.0%
  3. Android - <75% of the time

    7.3%
  4. iPhone - 100% of the time

    40.6%
  5. iPhone - 75%-99% of the time

    21.1%
  6. iPhone - <75% of the time

    3.6%
  1. kavyboy

    kavyboy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    758
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    It would be a hassle every single time I wanted to drive. Entry/exit is a fundamental part of driving, and it does this poorly. There was a Model 3 review video linked here the other day by a couple after 6 months of ownership. They were extremely positive about almost everything except the "frickin' keycard," which was driving them crazy with frustration. I think they said something like "Tesla is going to have to fix this!"
    Also, a prevailing thought on the forums has been that if you don't love the phone-as-key, then you're a Luddite or too old or too last-century, that the car isn't made for you, and you should go somewhere else. I'm taking that advice.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  2. andremc

    andremc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    florida
    Faulty analogy. The backseats didn’t not work; and they re-engineered them to make them better. They didn’t remove backseats completely. Nice try though.

    Again, peoples’ experiences vary. I recognize that. I also recognize that many of the issues have been related to user error (Bluetooth not on, phone off, app not running, etc.)
     
    • Like x 1
  3. andremc

    andremc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    florida
    But we haven’t moved beyond it if hundreds of thousands of cars every year are purchased without keyless entry. In the 60k plus price range, I’ll ive you that. But let’s not pretend that taking your keys out of your pocket is outdated technology. We’re nowhere near a “keyless” society.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. GWord

    GWord Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Seems a bit dramatic, don't you think? I suspect this is perhaps not the real reason for your cancellation (or not the only one). It would be crazy if one's car buying decision is solely predicated on such a non material nit. "I cancelled my Ferrari order because I didn't like the tire tread design." In reality, maybe I didn't really want a Ferrari in the first place and was looking for an out to save face.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Disagree x 1
    • Funny x 1
  5. EarlyM3Owner

    EarlyM3Owner Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    DFW
    I would agree with this. Unless we see it on the website stating otherwise, i would take this as a mess-up from this one Tesla representative and confusing the different models. I use my phone as my primary ability to unlock my doors. Do I have issues? every once in a while, but not a significant amount. If it does not unlock, i open my app on my phone and then the doors automatically unlock (without me unlocking on my app). I think its just a bluetooth communication issue but something that can possibly be solved through more software fixes. I carry one of the cards in my wallet just incase but never had to pull it out to use it (had my car since October 2017)
     
  6. Pkmmte

    Pkmmte Le meow

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2017
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    That's like complaining about Tesla using electric motors and batteries for the Model S, rather than proven internal combustion engines.

    Sometimes technology just needs to advance. I, for one, am really happy to not have to carry around a clunky keyfob everywhere anymore. I've had my Model 3 for nearly 4 months and 8k miles now, and I've never had it fail on me even once.

    I'd love to see Tesla focus on further improving this unlock mechanism for those having trouble with it, rather than waste resources backtracking to an older method instead. The same way I appreciate them focusing on improving their electric motors and batteries to persuade more people, rather than put out a hybrid model for those whom fully electric cars don't work yet.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Helpful x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  7. kavyboy

    kavyboy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    758
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    No, it's really not that. Honest. I'm (was) a day-one reservation holder, Model S owner, and I was going to pay cash, so it's not like I wasn't willing and able to buy. I even framed my Model 3 picture they sent a while back. I was really looking forward to it.
    I disagree that it's a "non material nit". Every time - every time - I get in or out of the car this is going to be an issue for me. I guess I married the right woman, too, because she also has no interest in the car unless there's a fob.
    And I think that's all I have to say on the matter, really. I only bring it up in the hopes that Tesla somehow see this and maybe something will change.
     
    • Like x 3
    • Informative x 1
    • Love x 1
  8. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    793
    Location:
    los angeles, ca
    Is the goal to sell more cars or not? If I'm taking my skeptical friends for a ride in my fancy new $60k high tech car, then they see me fumbling with some app trying to get it open, is that going to win over any new customers?

    If it "works" there wouldn't be a 50 page thread about problems with the phone key on this forum.
     
    • Like x 2
  9. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    793
    Location:
    los angeles, ca
    But fobs worked a higher % of the time than the phone key does. Moving from reliable to less reliable is not progress, no matter how futuristic your phone key makes you feel.
     
    • Like x 3
    • Love x 1
  10. Petra

    Petra Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA USA
    I don't see this as a fair comparison because if your car's proximity key fails, you either fix or replace it asap--there's actually a solution to the problem that doesn't involve regularly resorting to a physical key. Tesla can't fix the wild west of BT hardware implementations that is the smartphone market, nor can they single-handedly fix the house of cards that is the BT software stack. Hopefully, they'll be able to make enough improvements to their implementation so that users will have a more consistently positive experience.

    Looking at this from the viewpoint of a Model S owner, one of the simple but very impactful things Tesla has done is make the focus of interaction about driving, rather than managing the machine. You walk up to the car, pull the handle, get in, seatbelt, brake press, lever tap from a finger extended off the steering wheel, and drive. Done driving? Stop, unbuckle, get out, shut door, and walk away. No keys to think about, no start/stop buttons, no goofy startup animations, no lock/unlock fiddling, you don't even have to put it into park since opening the driver's door automatically engages park and sets the parking brake. You aren't micromanaging the machine, you're driving it.

    That sort of seamlessness may seem small, but it really does completely reshape the way you think about interaction with your car and I think it's an important component of the experience Tesla's cars have to offer. Preserving this for the Model 3 matters.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Love x 2
  11. N5329K

    N5329K Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,599
    Location:
    California
    #51 N5329K, Jul 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    This ^. Some potential Model 3 owners are perfectly willing to live with the "will it or won't it?" uncertainty. Some are not. My worry is that early adopters are a lot more willing to put up with crap of all sorts, and that once Model 3 (finally) is released into the wilds of the base model market, the Tesla brand (and EV's in general, by extension) will take an own-goal hit. Put your phone in this pocket. No, that, pocket. Open the app. Close the app. Reboot. Switch BT off, then on. Try running Tasker. And if none of that works, put your groceries down (in the rain?), fish out a card from your wallet/purse (hope the neighborhood is safe), and tap it just so and right there.
    Seriously? You want me to do what to open/close/lock my car?
    I had a favorite pair of jeans like that. The zipper usually worked, but sometimes it wouldn't open, sometimes it wouldn't close. You had to move the pull tab a bit to the left, then back to the right, to get it around the bent teeth. Great jeans, but I threw them away.
    I've been a supporter of Tesla for a long time. I had (and have) every intention of making a long range EV my next car. I have my NEMA 15/40 in and ready. But honestly, the phone-as-key was not the only reason I canceled six months ago. I lost faith in Tesla's ability to produce the model I wanted when I wanted it. I didn't want a black interior. I didn't need a car loaded (larded?) with options. By the time they got around to building the version I did want, I figured production would have ramped to the point where the wait would be trivial.
    And I didn't want to wonder if the car would open every time I wanted to get in and go someplace, or lock every time I wanted it to lock.
    Robin
     
    • Love x 1
  12. andremc

    andremc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    florida

    I get it. Some people are having problems with the phone key. Some don’t. I’ve had mine fail 2-3 times in 2 months. In both cases, I hadn’t driven in about a day, and the car was sleep. I’m guessing there’s a timeout built in for security purposes.

    When I show off my $60k car, I still don’t have issues. I take that back. When I showed my dad, the doors didn’t lock. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I fumbled with the phone. As it turned out, the passenger side door wasn’t fully closed. I closed the door, and everything worked perfectly. Even with that slip up, he said, “this is an amazing car, but they should give you some type of notification why the door won’t lock. Still, I want one now.”

    Another anecdote - when I bought a $50k car in 2009 and was showing it to family and friends, I had an uncle chide me because the gas/brake pedal wouldn’t adjust. “My Chevy could do that 10 years ago.”

    My point is that some people will see through minor hiccups (and yes, a phone key fail is minor IMO if it works the majority of the time since there is a physical key), and still like the car. Others will find any reason not to like the car.

    On your last point about the fobs working a higher percentage of the time. I’ll concede that. Though it hasn’t been my experience, I recognize that others have had issues with the phone key. I also recognize that software adjustments can continuously be made to alleviate any issues.
     
    • Like x 2
  13. andremc

    andremc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    florida
    I enjoy that same seamlessness with my Model 3. The phone key works perfectly for me. However, if I knew that it was prone to failure, I’d switch to using my card until the technology got it right. It’s the same whenever there’s any new tech. In most cases, things work as intended; but there will be times where it won’t. You adjust and keep it moving. If it’s too much of a burden, you get rid of (or don’t buy) the tech until you’re confident it’ll meet your needs. No one can knock you for that. What I have a problem with is the, “burn it down and start over from the beginning because it doesn’t work for me,” mentality that some people seem to have.
     
  14. rdlink

    rdlink Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2018
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Colorado
    And that's the point. It is a $60K+ car. And in that price range the manufacturer should be making the owners' experience as good as, or better than the competition. Not worse than.

    But beyond that I challenge you on the "hundreds of thousands" statement. I would be willing to bet that there are an extreme minority of cars on the market today that come without at least a remote control. That's pretty much the entry point for cars in this day and age. And with almost any remote control I can unlock my car by putting my hand in my pocket and pushing a button.

    I get that you love Tesla, but blind defense is in nobody's best interest. I have a Model 3 on order. And having used the card, as much of a pain as it was when I rented one it will not deter me from moving forward with my purchase. If my phone key ends up with less than 95% reliability, long term I will be an unhappy camper, however. And Tesla will hear about it. And it will be their fault.

    It's like HUD. With the control panel being where it is located HUD should have been an option. Elon can go on all day about how it won't matter when FSD goes Level 5. But that is many years from now, and in the meantime I will be a less safe driver than if it had HUD. Again, not going to keep me from buying the car, but I am also not going to blindly defend a bad design decision.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. rdlink

    rdlink Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2018
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Colorado
    I call BS. If you're within the prescribed range I challenge you to show me failures in key fobs that are not broken. My last 25+ years of driving cars with remote controls tells me you're wrong. It's an extremely mature technology.

    As far as the key card is concerned I can tell you from personal experience it's not that great of a backup. I used it for a couple of days and struggled mightily getting it to be reliable when trying to get the car to start.
     
  16. rdlink

    rdlink Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2018
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Colorado
    Not a faulty analogy. They thought they built a system that was adequate, and the customer told them it wasn't. The customer is doing the same thing about the phone key/card key system. They need to listen to their customers. They might not be able to do anything with already manufactured vehicles without a retrofit charge to the customer. But they can do that, and they can also make it part of the build moving forward. Or at least offer it as an option.
     
    • Like x 1
  17. andremc

    andremc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    florida
    *I really wish there was an edit button so I could fix my typos. Dah well.

    Level setting here - when I say keyless entry, I’m referring to cars where I dont have to press a button when I’m 10 feet away from the car to unlock it (and these usually don’t have push to start ignition). Look at your entry level Kia, Honda, etc. These cars all meet those requirements. If they aren’t 2018 models, there are still tons of them on the road. The point is that technology is still fresh on the kind of the average driver.

    And it’s not blind defense. My viewpoint is from my experience. My phone simply works. On the few occasions where it didn’t, I used my key card or opened the app. It took a total of 15 Seconds max to get into the car. So no, I disageee that it’s a bad design. There are obviously some gaps based on some users’ experiences, but I see nothing wrong with the design itself.
     
    • Like x 1
  18. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,154
    Location:
    San Diego
    At least the Model 3 system is secure, most keyfobs are easily hacked: Just Two of These $11 Gadgets Can Steal a Car
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  19. andremc

    andremc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    florida
    I don’t know how else to prove it to you other than giving you my experience where when I press the unlock button on the fob, it almost always takes more than one press (Infiniti m35 was my most recent car). There are times where the push button ignition won’t start, requiring me to insert the key. Those are failures. They even happen with fresh batteries. Do I cry about it? No.

    Is my car/fob defective? Possibly. There’s clearly something wrong with the communication between the two. But I’m not going to Infiniti and calling for them to replace the fob with (solely) a physical key.

    On the other hand, my Tesla phone key doesn’t fail me. Maybe your phone/car is defective. I don’t know, but mine works flawlessly.
     
    • Like x 1
  20. N5329K

    N5329K Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,599
    Location:
    California
    I've had to replace fob batteries now and then, but I have never had one fail, nor have I had a keyless car fail to start with the fob in my pocket. No workarounds needed. No pulling out the tiny physical key. No doubts about whether the car will open, whether it will start, or whether it 's locked as I walk away. Fobs have been 100% reliable for me. Pretty clearly that's not the case for many (most?) Model 3 owners.
    Robin
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC