Over the past few years, we’ve enabled consumers to make contactless payments, open locked doors, and pay for public transport with their wearables. Now, it’s time for electric cars to come onboard. That’s right, with Fidesmo Car Keys, Tesla owners can now use their favourite wearable to Tap and Drive as well as Tap and Pay!
A brief history of car keys
Remote car keys brought a new level of convenience when they were launched – as inserting a metal key into a door handle became a thing of the past. Next, came keyless ignitions. But then, well that was it. Car key technology stalled. The next big jump involved moving car controls onto mobile apps. Certain car functions could be controlled from long distances but that involved opening an app on the phone. The remote car key remained the most convenient way to open doors and start the engine. Until now, that is.
All for one and one for all
At Fidesmo, our philosophy is: why have many devices for different tasks when one can do them all. Payment cards being the perfect example. Together with our partners, we’ve made it possible to connect multiple cards to a single passive wearable, i.e., one where no batteries are needed, so you no longer need any cards or your phone for contactless payments.
Now, we’re making it possible for Tesla drivers to securely connect their car keys and their payment cards to one wearable. So, if you’re a Tesla driver, you can open your car door, start the car, pay for charging, buy a snack mid-journey, or pay for the weekly shopping with a ring, piece of jewelry, watch strap, you name it.
Secure elements are the key
How, you might ask, is this possible? Fidesmo-ready wearables have NFC chips, known as secure elements, embedded in them (just like most modern smartphones), which are connected to the Fidesmo platform. This gives OEMs and end-users access to many different providers, services, and our secure tokenization technology, which adds an extra layer of security to contactless transactions, such as payments or door access.
The actual car key service is generated inside the secure element in the wearable. The secure element is hardware and software protected against physical tampering and other attacks ensuring the keys can’t be copied or exported.
Connecting a wearable to your Tesla
To connect a Fidesmo Car Keys-prepared wearable to a Tesla, you simply add it as a new key using the onboard screen. To do this, open the Car Menu, navigate to the Locks section and select Add New Keycard. Follow the instructions – it may vary slightly per model – and Tap your Wearable to Connect. Then, you’re good to go. Hold the wearable close to the door handle to open it – if the car is in low energy mode, give the handle a quick pull first. Once your seated and buckled up, hold it next to the cup holder and the car will start – which is extra convenient if your wearable is a ring or a watch. If you want to remove the wearable, for whatever reason, you can easily revoke its access in the Locks section.
What we can’t do, unfortunately, is put our payments service on a Tesla key, just yet. For the moment, to get the best of both worlds – payments and car key – you’ll have to go with one of our wearables, but they’re pretty cool, and you’ll get the wow factor from those around you when you pay for things in a store with your wearable.
How car manufacturers can get onboard
To date, Fidesmo Car Keys work for Tesla cars, but there’s no reason why other car manufacturers can’t utilize the Fidesmo platform to provide the same service for their customers. Branch organizations, such as the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) are actively working to develop an open standard to allow smart devices to act as a vehicle key for unlocking cars, starting engines, and sharing access to friends or valets. Coupled with the Fidesmo Platform, users will be able to pay, unlock, and drive effortlessly with the tap of one device.
How wearable manufacturers can get onboard
For those wearable companies looking to increase their customer service offering, Fidesmo Car Keys is available for onboarding now. To find out how to get started, contact me directly on the email address below.
Getting a wearable for your Tesla
If you’re a Tesla driver who wants to get started with using a wearable for payments and car access, visit our wearable manufacturers websites (links below), order a ring and add Tesla as an additional service during checkout. The final connection between the wearable and the car is done once the wearable arrives on your doorstep!
Product Owner Theo Franzén has been with Fidesmo since the early days. As a UX designer and front-end developer, he believes that the user experience is instrumental in driving innovation and success in the digital and physical worlds.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org