Tesla Model S And X Are Ready To Say Goodbye To Keys

Technology / Comments

Key card technology could finally be on the way to the flagship models.

Tesla fans are a special kind of gearhead; likened better to technophiles than traditional car nuts, there are no lengths to which they won't go to experience the latest in automotive technology. Not only were many buyers early adopters of electric cars, but some have even been crazy enough to embed chips in their bodies to unlock their cars or start Tesla-only dating services. The chips were from the key cards available for the Model 3 and Model Y - previously the only two Tesla derivatives available with such. But news from a Tesla owner-hacker suggests that the keycard tech may soon be rolling out to the Model S and Model X as well.

https://twitter.com/greentheonly/status/1341240826115092481
2017-2020 Tesla Model 3 Key Card Tesla
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Front Angle View Tesla
2016-2021 Tesla Model X Front Angle View Tesla

In his investigations, the user who simply goes by 'green' claims that Model S and X vehicles with firmware 2020.48 and up now have the allowance for something referred to as "service key". It's the same field in the coding used on the 3 and Y for phone keys and key cards, but the space where this code is found was previously empty for the larger pair of Tesla EVs. His digging revealed that the code is identical across all models and appears to be hardcoded. It can't be removed, either, as when he tried deleting the string of code, it simply reverted back to the original coding. The coding also suggests that Tesla service centers have a universal card key that can be used to unlock everything from the Model 3 to the Model X.

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The Model S and X have previously received updates that enabled the use of smartphones as keys, tech that is now becoming commonplace among luxury marques including BMW. But the system isn't without its faults, as weak signal often makes it tricky to get into the car. What many Teslarati are suggesting, however, is that the code is in preparation for a rumored refresh of the Model S, with the flagship sedan possibly entering a second generation in the near future. If the rumors are true, key cards will become standard for the refreshed models.

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2017-2020 Tesla Model 3 Key Card
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Steering Wheel
2017-2021 Tesla Model S Front Angle View
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2016-2021 Tesla Model X Side View
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