Owners of Tesla’s Model S will no longer have to fret over forgetting their keys. Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is planning an update to its firmware that will allow owners of its Model S electric sedan to use an iPhone to unlock its doors and start the engine.
The new functionality was first noticed by 9to5Mac founder Seth Weintraub and is reportedly coming in version 6.0 of the Model S firmware. Weintraub notes that the firmware is in the “late beta stages” and coming soon.
The report says that Tesla might utilize the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint system for the new app, to help prevent crooks who steal your iPhone from stealing your Model S as well. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to unveil the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 8, in September, and Weintraub reports that Tesla may be waiting for the latest iPhone software to unveil the new functionality.
Screenshots of the update note that the app will first work only with the iPhone, ut will arrive on Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android operating system in a “few weeks.” Tesla’s preexisting Model S mobile app has been available on iOS and is in beta for Android.
Smartphone apps capable of remote starting a vehicle already exist from companies such as Viper and DroneMobile, which offer apps that can also track a vehicle’s location should it be stolen. A 26-year-old man died in a fiery crash earlier this year after stealing a Tesla Model S from a service center; following that incident, the manufacturer might include additional security features with the app.