The Verge:

The Tesla app now supports ultra wideband (UWB) in the 2024.2.3 version of the app for iPhones. Spotted by Not a Tesla App, it promises more reliable and secure use of phones as digital keys than Bluetooth does because UWB’s precision tracking lets the car know exactly where the key is, which also helps protect against replay spoofing attacks.

The article says this even comes down to knowing which user is on the driver’s side of the car in the event that two people who have phone keys for the car are getting into it. It’s the same type of precision tracking that lets you accurately locate Apple’s AirTags even when the thing they’re attached to is lost in the cushions of your couch.

The change isn’t available for Android users yet, but some recent Pixel and Galaxy phones include UWB chips, so support could come to them eventually.

After downloading the update, users should be prompted to “Upgrade Your Phone Key,” followed by a request to give the app access to Nearby Interactions, an iOS setting that opens up the iPhone’s U1 chip to the app. That can be found under Settings > Privacy & Security > Nearby Interactions.

According to Not a Tesla App, only the newest Model 3 and 2023 Model X support the feature, while the newer Model X and S and Cybertruck should get it down the line. All iPhones from the 11 onward come with UWB, excluding SE models.

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MuskWire TLDR:

The Tesla app now supports ultra wideband (UWB) in the 2024.2.3 version for iPhones, as reported by Not a Tesla App. This update offers more reliable and secure use of phones as digital keys compared to Bluetooth, thanks to UWB’s precision tracking capabilities. UWB allows the car to pinpoint the exact location of the key, providing protection against replay spoofing attacks.

The article also highlights how this precision tracking can determine which user is on the driver’s side of the car when multiple individuals with phone keys are entering. This technology is similar to Apple’s AirTags, which can accurately locate lost items even within sofa cushions.

Although the UWB support is currently only available for iPhones, recent Pixel and Galaxy phones with UWB chips may receive support in the future. To activate the feature, users need to download the update and follow the prompt to “Upgrade Your Phone Key.” They will then be asked to grant the app access to Nearby Interactions, an iOS setting that utilizes the iPhone’s U1 chip.

According to Not a Tesla App, only the newest Model 3 and 2023 Model X currently support UWB, but the feature is expected to be available for newer Model X and S as well as the Cybertruck in the future. UWB is available on all iPhones from the 11 onwards, excluding SE models.