With Firmware 6.0 – Start A Tesla Model S With iPhone Or Android Smartphone


In the release notes for Firmware v6.0 for the Tesla Model S, there’s mention of the ability to start the Model S with an iPhone app and (in a few weeks) an Android app.

This means that Model S owners won’t need a keyfob to start their electric sedans.

Firmware 6.0 Will Allow One To Start A Model S Without The Key Fob

Firmware 6.0 Will Allow One To Start A Model S Without The Key Fob

Firmware 6.0 is reportedly rolling out now, so iPhone users will get this app-starting ability just as soon as their Model S gets this latest updated.  Android users have “a few weeks” to wait before their phone will bring to life the Model S.

Additionally, Firmware 6.0 brings with it a new power management setting “Nightly,” which switches the Model S to energy-saving mode from 10 PM to 5 AM.  Other changes for Firmware 6.0 seem relatively minor:

Firmware 6.0 Highlights

Firmware 6.0 Highlights

Source: 9to5 Mac

Categories: Tesla

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16 Comments on "With Firmware 6.0 – Start A Tesla Model S With iPhone Or Android Smartphone"

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So now when somebody steals your phone they can also easily steal your car?

Just like if someone stole your key….

And the software might require a pin also when your key does not.

The phone presumably looks like a phone not a Tesla key. So someone would have to know that your phone belonged to a Tesla, know the password to open the phone, and be able to find your car.

So – it is not a security issue

With modern high resolution cameras, it easy to film people typing in their phone passwords in a restaurant or public place and then steal the phone.
Every password you type in at a place, where unknown people have access to, must be considered as compromised.

If it works like the phone app on the Focus Electric, the car “starts” with A/C, etc., form the phone, but in order to get into the car and drive it away, you still have to have the key fob in your pocket.

Tesla has always had this capabilty with their iPhone app. What’s new is the ability to actually start the car for driving.

If someone steels your phone, it is easy to disable the use of phone over Internet. And most people use quite strong protection in their phone. E.g. my phone is impossible to use if you do not know the knock code. And iPhones have their finger print recognition. At some point there will be also retinal scans that are the most secure.

If someone steels your key, then there is no way to disable the use of car over Internet.

It’s all the firmware enhancements you don’t see that are the next step in a continuing evolution.

eg: International language support: recently added Chinese, Japanese, and number European dialects. The RHD (Right Hand Drive) integration so experience is at same level as LHD model. All the connected car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure features; to sync and distribute real-time traffic reporting and sharing.

Many firmware enhancements that are not really features associated with a vehicle … rather elements associated with enhancing the overall driving experience.

Siri, start the car and pick up the kids at school.

No physical addition like rfid? It seems like they are doing it too easy for hackers to steal the cars. Are Tesla unhappy with their cars not getting stolen today?

PEVs are the least likely category of vehicles stolen in US … averaging almost zero stolen (ie: 2 of ~250,000).

The Model S was actually the least stolen vehicle in US (1), but other PEVs not included on the list (as zero stollen, so no reports filed).


List (see last page for PEVs)

The couple of cases of theft involved an iMiEV (in 2012) and Model S (in 2013) … both of which had the keyfobs in the vehicle vs. being with the owner.

I believe Tesla is planning a valet mode that limits speed and distance of travel in an upcoming firmware release.

Yeah, they’ve talked about Valet Mode for a while now. 🙁

You do realize that any internet connected car will be the absolute easiest to track? There is no disabling the connectivity. If it is completely disabled, the car doesn’t run. It’s not like you can find a Lo-Jack transmitter and throw it away.

“There is no disabling the connectivity. If it is completely disabled, the car doesn’t run.”

Huh? Can’t you just disconnect the antenna or put the Tesla in a RF shielded trailer.

Are you sure the car doesn’t run without connectivity? When there is no cell signal the Model S still runs such as when you’re in a really rural area like a national park, or a long tunnel through a mountain, or a deep underground parking garage, or all the nearby cell towers are overloaded. Besides, NHTSA wouldn’t allow the Model S to suddenly stop running just because it lost connectivity, since it would be tremendous safety hazard.

Mikael: “No physical addition like rfid? It seems like they are doing it too easy for hackers to steal the cars.”

RFID is inherently insecure, since it is not encryted. That’s why people buy RF-blocking wallets & passport covers. Otherwise, any passerby with the right equipment can read and copy your info from your RFID-enabled credit credit card or passport and make a clone.

I don’t believe 6.0 is actually rolling out right now. There has been a lot of speculation about it but just a couple of days ago a new version of the 5.x series (5.14) was released.

No one of the Tesla club forum has seen it. At least no one who isn’t a beta tester and the beta testers aren’t talking…

I would like 6.0 to automatically roll all my windows up, close my sunroof, open the charge port door, and raise my garage door all simultaneously as it knows I’m pulling into my driveway. I would also like to be able to select which door handles I wish the car to present. Larger font sizes for the lower information on the smaller turn by turn nav screen.
So, what will 6.0 actually do? We will all know SOON!
by December 2016=Tesla soon!!! Ha!

This is a weeks-old story based on screenshots of a beta tester’s release notes (presumably a violation of his NDA and also presumably he is no longer a beta tester).

Version 6.0 is not rolling out yet. Also no one knows if this feature in this one beta test version will be in the general release of 6.0.