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Tesla Files FCC Application For Bluetooth Key Fobs For Tesla Model 3 Owners

A new FCC filing from Tesla for a bluetooth key fob appears to indicate that Tesla is putting the finishing touches on a physical key fob for the Model 3.

A new FCC filing from Tesla for a bluetooth key fob appears to indicate that Tesla is putting the finishing touches on a physical key fob for the Model 3.

The Model 3 was rolled out with a bluetooth “Phone Key” that uses a Tesla smartphone app as the primary key for the vehicle, but many customers have had issues with that option. A set of key cards is included with the car, but they were intended to serve only as backup keys and are not as convenient as a typical key fob.

The unpredictable nature of the bluetooth phone key has already led many users to seek alternatives, with some users even going so far as to craft their own solutions — for example, integrating the inner workings of the key card into bracelets and similar wearables.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly admitted the problems, noting to Consumer Reports that the solution had not been performing as well as they had hoped. He shared that “we really should do something better” than the current phone key solution. Consumer Reports related that Elon said “we really need to provide a normal key to the customers of this car.”

If FCC filing ID 2AEIM-1133148 is to be believed, the company is indeed preparing to build and release key fobs for the Model 3 that will presumably give users a third option to the existing phone key and key cards. Flashing back to our Model S, the key fob was bulletproof and one of the better features of the car. It allowed for seamless, touchless entry into the car while also making it easy to manually lock/unlock or pop the trunk/frunk with a single touch. Tesla’s phone key may achieve that level of functionality someday, but it appears that it’s not there yet.

In the meantime, it looks like a fob is coming to the rescue for Model 3 owners. Ironically, Tesla requested short-term confidentiality for the application until September 20th, 2018, but from all appearances, it was not honored. Take a look at the application on the FCC’s site or as a PDF and let us know what you think. Is Tesla going to release a key fob for the Model 3? Will they charge for it?

We have reached out to Tesla for a comment on the FCC application and will update this article if we hear back. 

Source: FCC via Reddit

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I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.


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