There is an interesting new function in the 2024.2.3 version of the Tesla app for iPhones. The app can now connect to the UWB chip in the iPhone and use it to handle phone keys in a more advanced and safe way.
Tesla’s iOS app now supports UWB for more secure digital key handling
Before, Bluetooth was the only way for the Tesla app’s Phone Key mode to work. On iPhones and cars that enable it, UWB makes positioning much more accurate and stops replay spoofing. If the attacker can catch it, they will fake a legal transmission of data by sending it again or delaying it. To put it another way, someone can send the signal from your digital key and get into your Tesla. Even though they don’t happen often, they can.
The app’s changelog also says that UWB positioning can tell who is driving if two people with phone keys get into the car at the same time. The tech is the same that’s in Apple’s AirTags, after all.
The feature is still only available on iOS devices, which is a shame because some Android phones, like the Google Pixel and the Samsung Galaxy S Ultra, allow UWB. It could be a fix for Android is also on the way.
And if you have an iPhone with UWB, you won’t be able to use it on any Tesla before the 2023 Model 3 and Model X. Older Model S and X cars, as well as Cybertrucks, should also be supported since they all have UWB.
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