Tesla Model S, X To Mimic Model 3 – No Key Required

Tesla Model 3


It makes perfect sense that the Tesla Model S and X would eventually adopt some of the Model 3‘s most innovative features.

There’s been much talk about a Tesla Model S redesign at some point in the near future. Eventually, the Model X will come due as well. With this being said, people have speculated that some of the new features in the Model 3 would likely find their way into its larger siblings.

Related: Tesla Model 3 OTA Update Improves Security Of Keys

Well, with over-the-air updates, Tesla can make changes happen well ahead of any official redesign. This is part of the reason that the automaker doesn’t rely on model years or need to be in a huge hurry to refresh its models (they’re refreshed continuously not only due to OTA updates but also as hardware changes are made periodically during production).

Read Also: Tesla Model 3 Heated Rear Seats Now Activated Via OTA Update

As we’ve pointed out before, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sometimes asks owners for improvement suggestions via Twitter. Other times, he doesn’t have to ask. People are constantly offering ideas, and Musk seems to be closely watching social media to act on those that he deems viable.

Last week, a Twitter user questioned Musk about using a phone’s Bluetooth to unlock his Model S, much like the Model 3. Within a matter of minutes, Musk replied:

He later clarified the situation further:

Current Model S and X owners use a traditional key fob (although it’s shaped like a car) to lock and unlock the vehicles. The Model 3 uses a credit-card-like key card, but can also be opened via a smartphone app and Bluetooth. After the initial setup, owners simply need to approach the vehicle with the phone on their person and it will interact with the car.

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25 Comments on "Tesla Model S, X To Mimic Model 3 – No Key Required"

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Better news would be to offer a key fob for the Model 3.

Why? So you can carry something extra in your pocket. I’d like to leave my fob at home when driving my Model S, this makes total sense. No one who owns a Tesla drives without a cell phone.

The biggest reason for a fob is so you don’t lock it inside the car. The car has no way to determine where the keycard or phone is versus a fob. The phone bluetooth sensor is actually on the exterior of the car. This has been demonstrated by owners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sArj3VqGuZY

You might want to check with actual owners first. They’re not exactly pleased with phone as key. People who once praised it have done complete 180s

The Model 3 is mostly brilliantly designed. But the phone as key and keycard are both vastly inferior to a key fob.

An app like this is fine as a backup. But not as your primary means of entry. Any update by Tesla, Android or Apple can break your phone as key and lead to headaches.



For those not having problems… great! You will in the future. I promise. 🙂

A bunch of nothing! The guy doesn’t want to carry his phone because it’s too big or the key card because some other reason…but a bulgy key fob, yeah that’s fine! Proof that people will complain about anything given the opportunity.

Did you not read the second thread with 40 pages of complaints about the unreliability?


This isn’t specific to Tesla. Bluetooth between two active devices is always sketchy. The bluetooth connection between my phone and my Bolt is similarly hamstrung by working maybe 70% of the time. While my key fob works 99.9% of the time.

There is no reason for Tesla to not allow users the ability to purchase a dedicated fob if they so choose! 🙂 I hope they make this a choice by the time my wife gets her 3.

Offering the choice of having a fob isn’t a bad thing. Why can’t it have both? If you want to use fob/key, then do so. If you want to use the phone, that is fine too. Give people the choice.

Thank you! That’s exactly what I was gonna say.

The short answer to “Why a key fob?” is “Because a great number of Model 3 buyers have expressed a strong desire for one.”

Making it an option that would have to be paid for by those who want it, certainly won’t reduce the choices available to Mark.ca and others who do not want a TM3 fob.

More options available to buy isn’t a zero-sum game. More options is a win-win for everyone!

They still have the key card if they don’t want to use the phone, what’s wrong with that?
But you are right, make the stupid fob and sell it for $2k.

You have to hold the key card to the car. It doesn’t work just keeping it in your pocket. It also can’t open the boot for you. Else the key card would be a fob.

Good source

It could be optional. I know I would pay 1k extra for two key fobs with the car.

“We Can Keep making Your car Better long After you Bought It” …. WOW ! ! ! How many car Makers can say that ! And Actually Do It Without even Bringing it in for service ! Truly Amazing ! Tesla., You’re “THE BEST”

It is pretty boggling to think that a company exists that doesn’t build in obsolescence/failure into their products in order to ensure future sales. No other company really does that, it’s pretty amazing.

Well, most other car makers that you buy from already make their product good enough for the sales. Tesla just sold with the disclaimer that it could be better later, but take the inferior features now and we will get back to you later. But leave your cash here now. =)

*I know I will flamed by Tesla fan bois for saying that*…

Or better yet, companies like Apple that arbitrarily change something as minor a charging connector so you’re forced to buy an entirely new phone.

I have another suggestion. Add a foot sensor to be able to open the frunk. I find myself not wanting to use the frunk very much because I have to either get my phone out, pull up the app, then choose open frunk, or I have to get into car and do it from the touchscreen. If I had foot sensor below the front bumper, that would be much more useful, especially when you hands are full.

Using your phone to unlock the car or open the frunk sounds like a classic case of a company doing something they think is cool just because they can. My wife and I own a couple of Nissans with key fobs, and we both love them. We never leave the house without our keys, so we always have the fob. Unlocking the car and starting it is a couple of button pushes and zero hassle.

Tesla really has to learn to constrain themselves. Thinking outside the box and being a non-traditional company is an undeniably good thing — we’ve all seen far too many examples of the old guard car companies senselessly and counterproductively being slaves to tradition — but you can also go too far and wind up with falcon wing doors, the T3 interior with almost everything controlled via a touch screen, etc.

Opening the Frunk does require getting your phone out, but not when entering the vehicle or opening the rear trunk. You basically walk up to the car, and open the door. as it unlocks automatically. And when you sit down and put your foot on the brake, the car automatically wakes up/starts. I think it works fine, but would still like a keyfob as a backup, besides the cards.

Don’t we have this already? My key fob gets locked inside the car from time to time, and I have to use my phone to open it up. Or the car will say no fob detected, but I can drive with my phone telling the car it is ok.

Walk to the car and it opens, touch the trunk and it opens…that’s what is have on both my cars with key fobs (vw and lexus)…and this is what Tesla has without, just with the phone which I carry all the time anyway…perfect! Anyone that has keyless entry understands this and never wants to go back.

Yelp dont go camping. No cell reception in national forest

Despite Elon’s repeated statements about the Model 3 not having any improvements over the Models S & X, despite official comparison charts from Tesla showing that the Model S is better than the Model 3 in just about every conceivable way…

Despite all that, I thought it was almost a dead certainty that certain TM3 innovations would show up in the MS and/or MX. sooner or later.

From what this article says, I’m far from the only one who made that prediction. It’s always pleasing to see one of my predictions come true, but I’m not claiming any “points” for this one. This was an easy call!

This feature has been nothing but trouble for a lot of M3 owners. Sorry, but that’s the truth. I only use my key card with my M3. Not going to even bother with the whole phone thing. Hopefully they will improve this with time.

Tesla is the best car I have ever had in my life , keep up your great work Elon Musk ✌️✌️