Thanks to over-the-air (OTA) software updates, Tesla frequently improves upon and adds new features to its vehicles. Although the pace of software updates has slowed in 2021, there have been a few recently that added new features such as Car Wash Mode and the ability to turn off auto-dimming mirrors.
All those changes were mentioned in the release notes, along with the usual undocumented updates in the generic “bug fixes and improvements” category.
It appears as though in one of the more recent updates, one undocumented change was to the way Key Card access works.
Previously you could use the Key Card to gain access to the vehicle. After sitting in the driver’s seat, you would be prompted to place the Key Card on the center console to shift it into gear.
Now that step is no longer required, and you can immediately start driving. (h/t: @JhonnyOnasis)
Based on a number of tests, we found there is a ~3-minute time limit between unlocking the car and shifting into gear. If you take longer than 3 minutes, you are prompted to place the Key Card on the center console.
Let us know in the comments below if you are experiencing the same, and if you are able to find out any quirks with the new feature.