Posted on January 22, 2017
Tesla Driver Locked Out
Most drivers worry about running out of gas or electrical charge, or breaking down roadside. What they may not be expecting is the shock of suddenly being locked out of their own car due to a lack of cell signal. That’s exactly what happened to Ryan Negri of Las Vegas when he decided to test the keyless control app for his Tesla Model S.
Cruising through Red Rock Canyon, about six miles from his home, Negri pulled over to get out and adjust something in the back seat. After exiting the car, he and his wife quickly realized that the door locks had activated. Available to Android and iPhone users, smart phone keyless control is relatively new compared to wireless key technology. It depends on a reliable cell signal that’s frankly not always available thanks to geological interference—also known as good old Mother Nature. While unlocking and starting the car with the phone app was simple enough at his home address, Negri did not anticipate signal failure out in the canyon.
Lucky for Ryan, his wife was able to run two full miles till she could access enough reception on her phone to call a friend and ask for help. Tesla and other carmakers planning to use keyless phone apps might want to highlight the possibility of app failure as a precaution: a night stranded in the desert with your family and pets probably isn’t any driver’s idea of weekend fun. New technologies are amazing--we love them all, too—but for more remote road trips, it might be a good idea to bring along those old-school key fobs, just in case.