Tesla’s next car will seamlessly unlock with UWB, FCC leak suggests

Apple and Samsung have been quietly contributing to a new technology to find and seamlessly unlock your car with your phone, with out pulling a fob out of your pocket — and Tesla could also be one of many first with the tech. Tesla is actively engaged on constructing UWB into its automobiles, in keeping with paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Fee.

On September ninth, the corporate submitted six new “merchandise” for the FCC’s consideration, together with two key fobs, a safety controller, and plenty of “endpoints” that will be put in contained in the body and cabin of a automobile:

Based on the FCC paperwork, not less than three of these merchandise explicitly help UWB communication.

What’s extra, Tesla’s FCC submitting is uncommon in that it contains a complete operational description of the technology, one thing that’s often redacted. The highlights: it’s a standards-based implementation of UWB, which suggests UWB telephones from Apple and Samsung ought to theoretically be appropriate, and it’s designed to let you know the way far-off you might be from the automobile.

That’s useful to keep away from replay attacks that attempt to trick your automobile into pondering its key fob is nearer than it truly is. However it additionally theoretically unlocks the power to find your car in a crowded parking lot utilizing your telephone.

A variety from Tesla’s operational description of the tech.

After I spoke to UWB chip provider NXP final yr, firm CTO Lars Reger advised me that future automobiles would probably want a number of of those UWB endpoints contained in the automobile, presumably on the door handles, to correctly triangulate your location and know whether or not you’re inside or exterior so, say, your youngsters gained’t be capable of activate the engine if you happen to’re not truly within the cabin. Apparently, Tesla thinks the B-pillars and a chunk of fascia is perhaps good locations to place these antennas, too.

A drawing of the within of one of many UWB key fobs.

None of because of this Tesla will essentially add the tech to its automobiles, however FCC paperwork are often a fairly good signal that it’s not simply an experiment. FCC filings are sometimes one of many final waypoints earlier than a product involves market, as they’re solely required if you happen to’re going to import, promote, or do widespread testing of a radio product within the US.

Final we checked, BMW was the only other automaker that’s dedicated to UWB.

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