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Bluetooth key fob for Tesla Model 3 spotted in FCC pictures

It's a backup for the owner's phone or keycard.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
September 22, 2018
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Among the quirks of the Tesla Model 3 is that unlike most cars, it doesn't come with a traditional key or key fob at all. Instead, it relies mostly on a Bluetooth Low Energy link to its owner's nearby iPhone or Android device, with keycards available as a backup system to start and unlock the car. Electrek reports that some people have had issues with this system, and spotted a Tesla BLE device making its way through the FCC filing process.

Now the documents have been updated with photographs which clearly show the device (as well as its internals and the manual), which is shaped like a Tesla sedan and labeled "Model 3." In real life it will likely look a little slicker than in these unglamorous shots, and it already closely resembles the units available for the Model X and Model S.

While Tesla isn't walking back decisions like its center-mounted console in the Model 3, it's definitely taking hints from owners on at least this small part of the experience. Whenever it becomes available, we'd anticipate the newly strengthened security elements will be included, and that other manufacturers working on Digital Keys are taking notes.

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