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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

    12.3%
  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. dusdev

    dusdev Member

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    I agree with this. I believe what they should have done is have a fob+phone+keycard. Then actually use real feedback from usage metrics and customer feedback to decide how to proceed. If people started leaving the fob at home, then great, don't include it or have it as an add-on option for next year's release.

    But not having it even as a basic option is a big mistake, IMO. I think once all the giddyness of this new shiny car starts to fade, people are going to hone in on the problems - I predict the key fob will be way up there. Also the horrible rear trunk lift gate and the single display with no HUD.
     
    • Like x 4
  2. rdlink

    rdlink Member

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    I understand the difference between a remote that is a pocket fob vs. a remote that requires a key. On my BMW the difference is called Comfort Access, and I had to pay extra for it.

    But even a basic car remote is better than what Tesla has done here, and I think it is the worst of all worlds. If my phone doesn't work when I walk up to the car I have to struggle to get my wallet out of my pocket, and in some cases even remove the card from my wallet. If my phone doesn't work when I walk away from the car my car might very well be unlocked the whole time I am gone without my knowledge. Even with a basic remote all that I have to do as I walk away from the car is reach into my pocket and press a button to give me the peace of mind of knowing it's locked.

    And you state "My phone simply works." Then you follow that up in the very next sentence with "On the few occasions where it didn't..." Completely contradictory statements, and you prove the point of why it was a bad design choice. Tesla took a very reliable and mature technology that works (assuming there is not a broken hardware issue) and make it less reliable and user friendly than it was.

    And how long have you had your Model 3? A few weeks? A few months? What happens when the next version of the iPhone and/or iOS comes out? There have been numerous well documented issues of cars losing BT connectivity to iPhones when Apple updates the phone or iOS in the past, and people were not able to make phone calls or listen to music for weeks or months until the issue was resolved by the car manufacturer and Apple working in concert. So then this great technology might get broken, and we're all reduced to using our key cards full time.

    The idea of a phone key is a great one, and it has so much potential moving forward. But right now it's not ready for prime time, and Tesla should have made the backup a better experience for the user. Period.

    And I won't even go into how much of a hassle someone who doesn't carry a smartphone has with the key card on their $65K car...
     
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  3. dusdev

    dusdev Member

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    All of this could have been accomplished with proven technology. A small fob as per the Model S/X could have accomplished the same goal with a much more pleasant experience (higher success rate).
     
    • Like x 3
    • Disagree x 1
  4. kavyboy

    kavyboy Member

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    I've replaced my fob batteries once in the past 3 years. The car told me that the fob battery was low. I turned into a Batteries Plus where they replaced them immediately. I didn't even have to fiddle with it myself. I consider the few dollars above the Amazon prices a convenience fee. It was ten minutes max for the whole thing, and we're heading across the street to continue our shopping trip. It could not have been easier.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Tesla doesn’t do “proven technology”. When you buy a Tesla you should expect to be on the cutting edge. Unfortunately that sometimes turns out to be a bleeding edge until the bugs get worked out.
     
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  6. dusdev

    dusdev Member

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    Sorry but that's complete crap. The last time I checked, the car had 4 wheels, doors, windshield, side and rear view mirror, control stalks, a steering wheel, seat belts. These are all 'proven' technology, the same way I see the most basic wireless key fob for an expensive car. They certainly used a 'proven technology' key fob on the Model S/X.

    I think maybe the lack of a key fob is a big anti-sell for the Model 3. Don't like it? Pay $35k to 'upgrade' to a key fob, oh, and you also get a Model S instead.
     
    • Like x 3
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  7. andremc

    andremc Member

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    florida
    I’ve had my car for 2 months. The key has failed maybe 3 times. I’ve had cars with fobs/remotes that fail daily - requiring multiple presses to unlock the door. Again, no technology is 100% flawless, so it’s not completely contradictory to say, “on the few occasions.” Again, my experience tells me that it works as designed.

    Do I anticipate issues when the new iOS is introduced? No. Why? Because it hasn’t failed me yet, and I trust their testing teams will continue to ensure they don’t go backward.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. GWord

    GWord Member

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    By that measure, the ISS, with its metal wall construction, is no more cutting edge than a shipping container.
     
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  9. rdlink

    rdlink Member

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    Okay, I'll say it. I think you're just flat out LYING when you say you have had key fobs fail you on a daily basis. And pressing the button when you're a block and half away and having it not work is not the key fob's fail.

    Of course no technology is flawless. But making an unproven technology that is far, far from flawless the front line solution to replace a very mature, extremely reliable and proven technology, and backing it up with a second line solution that it pretty much a PITA is just a poor design decision, period.

    And you keep deluding yourself on that iOS and iPhone front. It happens every year to multiple makes of cars.

    The Model 3 is a fantastic car. And it has a ton of wonderful features. But there were also a few stupid design decisions. The phone key/key card combo is one of them. The phone key is cool. But it should be the secondary key, and a fob should have been primary.
     
    • Like x 5
  10. andremc

    andremc Member

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    Yeah, I’m lying. That’s it. Because I have everything to gain right? I’m 10-15 feet away from my Infiniti right now, it just took me 3 clicks before the door locked. Want me to video it for you?

    I’m not delusional at all. I know updates break things. I’ve been working in infosec for almost 2 decades now. I said I trust that they’ll do the right thing and not break what works.

    And again, my experience (along with 90% of the people who responded to this poll) says that the phone key works at least 75% of the time. Some of those (like me) are closer to the 99% side while others are closer to the 75%. If the results said 90% worked less than 75% of the time, yheted be a serious cause for concern. The numbers (of this completely unscientific poll) just don’t support that.
     
  11. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    In the dark ages, when we were going to unlock our car we had these things called keys. We knew that we had to use the key to unlock the door or open the trunk. Pretty simple. If we had a grocery cart full of groceries, or were loading up the trunk with luggage or whatever, all we had to do was take the key from our pocket or purse, insert into the lock, twist, and voila! We knew what we had to do in advance, and we did it. Worked. Every. Time. My wife always had her keys removed from her purse before she approached her car.

    Now, onto the phone key. Will it work? (Yeah, almost always.) What if it does not work? Do I grab my key card also and have that handy while I shlep my luggage to the car? Do I remember to fumble around with my phone before I load up and head to the car? With the 3, we are not clear as to which method of access will work. Maybe we left our wallet or purse with the key card in the house while we put the luggage into the trunk. Then, if we unlocked the car with the key card, we have to remember to place it at the secret spot if we do not drive off within 15/30 seconds, remember to fetch the key card from wherever it has drifted during our drive, and remember to lock the car with the key card upon arrival.

    This is too clumsy to be the preferred method of accessing our vehicles reliably, consistently, and safely.

    We have not had issues with the fob for our S after four years. The only delays in access are the occasions when the car has not been driven in a couple of days, and we need to press on the handle for presentation. The fob is securely stashed in a pants pocket or my wife's purse.

    Since this has been mentioned a few times, why is it acceptable for tech not to be flawless? Why is a 95+% success rate tolerated? We are not dealing with the human element here with our innate abilities to be careless, thoughtless, negligent, stupid, and all the other traits we possess that lead to mistakes and errors in judgment.
     
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  12. andremc

    andremc Member

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    We accept tech to not be flawless because it is dependent upon so many other factors which are beyond our control. In the case of going to a website, for example, the only thing the user controls is the keystroke they type into the address bar. After that, my internet service provider may be down, the website I’m visiting may go down, there may be a power outage along the way, a router could crash, or a bunch of other things could happen to prevent me from getting to that website. If it was as simple as me flipping a light switch to get to the website, it would be different; but since there are so many variables with technology, we have to accept some level of failure.
     
  13. Bad Horse

    Bad Horse Member

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    So far I have had zero issues on my android, I also carry the card around just in case. I don't see having to use the card as some failure or major inconvenience.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. tread

    tread Member

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    I've had a car where the key fob failed on a daily basis. I had to get it serviced after 3 months purchasing it brand new (Honda Civic).

    My current vehicle (Acura) had a push to start system and the first fob would occasionally (5 - 6 times a month) not be detected even though it's in the same pocket, and I'm the driver of the vehicle. Switched to using my back up key and that one hasn't had any issues at all.

    My sister's Nissan Maxima has issues detecting that her key fob is in the car, and she has to insert the fob into the electronic turn slot that it has in order to start the vehicle. This happens on at least a weekly basis.

    People's experiences vary. What some people are willing to tolerate versus what you're willing to tolerate varies.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Thank you, Andremc. So, for my simplistic mind, technology is an interdependent effort of discrete parts. Thus, it is only as good as the weakest or least defective part. Since Tesla relies upon others for the phone key to work properly, there could be a host of reasons why the phone key does not work reliably: Programming errors on Tesla, programming errors in the phone, or programming errors in the bluetooth, for starters. Or sunspots.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. N5329K

    N5329K Active Member

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    I can see why a phone key system that works better than that would seem like a big improvement.
    Robin
     
  17. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Your concern. It's noted...

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    I'll join the Liar's Club.
    Every other day, my S tells me "Key Not In Car" while I am in the driver's seat, fob in pocket. Or needs me to "dance" to show it the fob in pocket...
    And I replaced both fobs' batteries last month with new.
     
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  18. andremc

    andremc Member

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    Precisely. There are a number of potential failure points. For at least 90% of the people here, those failure points aren’t a major inhibitor for functionality. Personally, my experience has been 99% positive.
     
  19. andremc

    andremc Member

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    It is. A phone key that has worked 99% of the time is a big improvement over one that I have to coax every now and then.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. rdlink

    rdlink Member

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    So in other words, hardware failures. Not design failure.
     
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