Latest Tesla FCC approvals hint at new key keyfobs and Apple CarKey integration

Tesla’s latest approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hint at the possibility of a few new features coming soon.

According to one test report posted to the FCC website (via Reddit) and dated January 13, 2021, the approval involves a new “automotive part (B Pillar Endpoint) with Bluetooth Low Energy radio that operates with the 2400-2483.5 MHz frequenecy range, Ultra Wide-band (UWB), and NFC.

If you’re unfamiliar, the B-Pillar is the area between the front and rear window where you currently tap your key card to access your vehicle. Already setup with NFC and Bluetooth receivers, the addition of a UWB device could mean a new way to unlock your Tesla.

Apple CarKey

That new method could be through Apple’s CarKey. Originally announced last year to work with NFC, the CarKey was recently updated to use UWB through a partnership with BMW.

Whether CarKey comes to Tesla vehicles remains to be seen, but there could also be other uses for the new UWB technology.

Smart Summon

UWB technology is much more accurate in determining location compared to other methods like WiFi or Bluetooth. According to ElectronicsDesign, “UWB can measure distance and location to an accuracy of 5 to 10 cm, while Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other narrowband radio systems can only reach an accuracy of several meters.

This level of accuracy could help improve the performance of Smart Summon in finding you and your phone across a parking lot.

Along with the B-pillar Endpoint approval (1614291), two other approvals for a Security Controller and Fascia Endpoint (1614280 & 1613851) indicate new keyfobs may also be coming.

Could that be part of the rumoured Model S and Model X refresh?

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