Tesla Update 2024.2.3 Is Improving Phone Keys By Adding Ultra-Wideband Support

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Tesla is improving its phone key with ultra-wideband support
Tesla is improving its phone key with ultra-wideband support

In Tesla update 2024.2.3, Tesla is rolling out support for ultra-wideband, a wireless protocol that will drastically improve how Tesla phone keys work.

Ultra-wideband (UWB) requires hardware support on the user's phone and the vehicle, so only some of the most recent models will be supported.

What is Ultra-Wide

Ultra-wideband is similar to Bluetooth in that it uses short-range radio waves to enable devices to communicate, although it’s a separate protocol all together. It uses less energy than Bluetooth while providing high-precision location tracking beyond what can be achieved with Bluetooth. The technology is often used to accurately locate devices and determine the precise distance between multiple UWB devices.

Improved Phone Keys

Tesla phone keys are fantastic and give you a way to lock and unlock your vehicle without having to carry a key. They also let you share temporary or permanent keys with others without ever having to hand something over physically. It's one of the ways Tesla can now offer self-serve demo drives without any staff on hand.

While phone keys are great and work reliably most of the time, occasionally the car doesn't recognize that the phone is nearby, requiring you to take out your phone and unlock it or even open the Tesla app before it recognizes that the phone is nearby.

The addition of support for ultra-wideband should solve these issues almost completely by precisely knowing where the phone is in relation to the vehicle. UWB support is also expected to improve other features that rely on knowing your phone’s location, such as selecting the correct driver profile depending on which phone key is closest to the driver’s side.

Enabling UWB Phone Key

The new phone key won’t work out of the box. To use the improved UWB phone key, you’ll need to set it up in the Tesla app. The app will prompt you to “Upgrade Your Phone Key,” and you’ll then need to grant the app access to UWB, which the iPhones call Nearby Interactions. You can remove or check on whether the app has access at any time by navigating to iPhone Settings > Privacy & Security > Nearby Interactions.

Release Notes

Tesla states that its new feature "Ultra-Wideband Phone Key" will improve your phone key due to greater accuracy and better responsibleness.

The release notes read:

"Ultrawide band (UWB) technology is now available for Phone Key. So your vehicle and Phone Key can communicate with greater accuracy to more responsively lock, unlock, and open Automatic Doors.”

“In the Tesla app, choose Phone Key > Upgrade and follow the instructions. After setup, keep your iPhone Settings for Nearby Interactions on for Tesla. Requires iPhone 11+ and Tesla app 4.29.5+."

Cars Supported

Since ultra-wideband requires specific hardware, it can’t be added in a software update unless the hardware is already in the vehicle. Only some of the latest Tesla vehicles appear to support the new wireless protocol.

We have confirmed that the new Model 3 is supported, as well as the 2023 Model X. All refreshed Model S and Model X vehicles include the new UWB frequencies in the certificate of conformity and are likely to receive this feature, but it doesn’t appear to be going out to all new S/X models yet. The Cybertruck is expected to be supported as well.

The first-gen Model 3 and current Model Y unfortunately do not have UWB support.

Phones Support

In addition to the vehicle having support for UWB, the phone must also support it. All models since the iPhone 11 have included support for ultra-wideband. This spans across all models and sizes.

While some Android phones also include UWB hardware, Tesla is launching support for the iPhone first, but we can expect supported Android phones running Android 13 or later to be added at some point in the future as well.

On the Android side, the Pixel 6 and above have support for UWB on the Pro models, while the Galaxy S series phones support the protocol since the S21, but only on the Plus and Ultra models. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 and above also include support as well as other flagship Android phones.

Tesla App Support

Tesla started adding support for ultra-wideband back in July 2023 when Tesla updated their app to v4.23.5 and included references to ultra-wideband. Tesla says that you’ll require the latest Tesla app, v4.29.5 or higher to use the new feature.

Ultra wide-band will bring greater accuracy and reliability to Tesla's phone keys. The phone key is already great and the only thing holding it back is its ability to work reliably 100% of the time, but it looks like that is about to be fixed if you own a new Tesla model.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

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