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Tesla FCC filing suggests ultra-broadband support for seamless, extra-secure vehicle access



Documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission have suggested that Tesla may be looking to use ultra-broadband (UWB) technology for its cars, and is one of the first automakers to do so. UWB, a technology developed by tech giants such as Apple and Samsung, will allow car owners to unlock their vehicles without pulling their mobile device out of pocket.

Tesla submitted six new products for the FCC’s processing on 9 September. These products included two key tags, a security controller and a number of “endpoints” that would be installed inside the frame and cabin of a vehicle. At the very least, these products were specifically listed to support UWB communications.

There are several notable aspects of Tesla̵

7;s FCC filing. Tesla included a complete operational description of the technology, which revealed that it intends to adopt a standards-based implementation of ultra-broadband technology. This, to a point, suggests that UWB technology from devices such as Apple and Samsung smartphones should be compatible, at least theoretically. The technology is also designed to let users know how far you are from the vehicle.

As mentioned in a report from The Verge, this “spectrum” would be the key to avoiding repeat attacks, which may trick a Tesla into believing that the key is closer than it actually is. This is an attack point that has previously been exploited by security researchers, some of whom were able to gain access to a Tesla by forging the car’s key fob system. Tesla’s security features such as the Drive PIN were a response to these attacks. UWB can also support other uses, such as finding a vehicle in a crowded parking lot.

Granted, Tesla’s FCC archives do not provide an assurance that ultra-broadband technology will actually reach their vehicles. However, it should be noted that FCC documents are usually a good sign that a company is quite serious about launching new technology, with archives at times becoming one of the product’s last turning points before it reaches the market.

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Tesla FCC filing suggests ultra-broadband support for seamless, extra-secure vehicle access