You may be able to unlock Tesla’s next car with your iPhone

Tesla may be the latest to jump into digital car keys.

What you need to know

  • FCC documents filed by Tesla hint at future cars supporting ultra-wideband communication.
  • The feature would allow cars to be unlocked by digital car keys like the one Apple currently supports.

As reported by The Verge, FCC documents submitted by Tesla hint that the company’s next car may support ultra-wideband communication, suggesting that the car may be able to be unlocked by digital car keys like the one that Apple demoed at WWDC 2020.

On September 9th, the company submitted six new “products” for the FCC’s consideration, including two key fobs, a security controller, and a number of “endpoints” that would be installed inside the frame and cabin of a vehicle.

As noted by the outlet, three of the products listed in the FCC documents submitted by Tesla support ultra wideband communication:

The report notes that, since the implementation of the technology is standards-based, it should be compatible with digital car key technology currently being developed by companies like Apple and Samsung.

What’s more, Tesla’s FCC filing is unusual in that it includes a complete operational description of the technology, something that’s usually redacted. The highlights: it’s a standards-based implementation of UWB, which means UWB phones from Apple and Samsung should theoretically be compatible, and it’s designed to let you know how far away you are from the car.

BMW was the first company to support Apple’s digital car key feature. The feature lets users unlock their car with either their iPhone or Apple Watch. Their digital key is stored in the Wallet app, and key owners can also choose to share their key with other trusted users to have access to the car.

Hyundai has also announced that it will support the feature later this year.

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