Tesla's iOS app now supports UWB for more secure digital key handling

Ro, 11 February 2024

An interesting new feature comes with the latest Tesla app for iPhones with version 2024.2.3. The app can now tap into the iPhone's UWB chip and use it for more advanced and secure Phone Key handling.

Tesla's iOS app now supports UWB for more secure digital key handling

Previously, the Phone Key function on the Tesla app solely relied on Bluetooth. On supported iPhones and cars UWB allows for much more accurate positioning and protects against replay spoofing. This is an attack in which valid data transmission is fraudulently repeated or delayed if the attacker is able to intercept that transmission. In other words, someone can relay the broadcast from your digital key and unlock your Tesla. Although rare, they are still possible.

The app's changelog also says the UWB positioning is able to detect who's in the driver's seat in case two people with Phone Keys enter the vehicle. It's the same technology used in Apple's AirTags, after all.

Unfortunately, the functionality is still limited to iOS devices only, even though some Android phones, such as Google Pixels and Samsung's Galaxy S Ultras, support UWB. Perhaps an Android update is coming soon too.

And even if you own an iPhone with UWB, you won't be able to use it on a Tesla other than the latest 2023 Model 3 and Model X. Support for older Model S and X vehicles, along with Cybertruck is also expected as they all have UWB support.



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