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Tesla may build a technology into its cars that could make them more secure and easier to find in parking lots

Business Insider logo Business Insider 2/3/2021 gkay@businessinsider.com (Grace Kay)
a person standing in front of a car: Tesla Model X at a new Tesla showroom in Shanghai in May. Yilei Sun/Reuters © Provided by Business Insider Tesla Model X at a new Tesla showroom in Shanghai in May. Yilei Sun/Reuters
  • Tesla could hone its keyless entry by building ultra-wideband technology into its vehicles.
  • The technology could allow drivers to easily locate their cars even in a crowded parking lot.
  • UWB works similarly to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but with better accuracy.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Tesla is honing the keyless entry system it first introduced in 2017, with technology that could allow users to locate their cars and prevent theft, The Verge reported Tuesday.

The ultra-wideband technology could allow drivers to easily locate their cars and unlock car doors using their phone as a key without it ever having left their pockets. 

UWB works similarly to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, using radio waves to communicate between devices.  The technology, according to the FCC filing, would keep users apprised of how far away their vehicle is parked.

"The main objective of a UWB ranging device is to provide a distance estimate, which serves as a tight upper bound for the actual distance between a sender and receiver," the filling reads.

The tracking ability could also help prevent theft, as keyless entry has made it easier to steal Tesla cars by spoofing the signal. 


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UWB operates at a higher frequency and is known to work with more accuracy, as well as require significantly less power than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. 

Tesla filed with the Federal Communications Commision for six new products in September, at least two of which directly include UWB, according to documents found by The Verge. A Tesla spokesperson did not respond in time for publication. The files have since been pulled, according to the story's author, Sean Hollister.

In 2017, Tesla first ditched its key fob, as well as old-school keys for the Tesla app on its Model 3 which allowed drivers to use their phone as a key.

Other car companies have also followed suit, using Bluetooth technology to allow for keyless entry. Some Lincoln models allow for keyless entry, users need only grab their door handles with their phone in hand.

Several other companies have looked to include UWB tech. BMW announced in January it plans to update its digital key with a more secure version that relies on UWB. 

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