To Unlock a Tesla Model 3, Your Smartphone Is the Key

July 29, 2017, 1:40 PM UTC

Elon Musk unveiled the highly-anticipated Tesla Model 3 Friday, and one of the more interesting features of the “mass market” electric car is that there’s no key to its use. Literally.

The Model 3 requires a smartphone app utilizing Bluetooth in order to identify you, its owner, to unlock its door. And while many automakers have already ditched traditional keys in favor of a fob, those aren’t required or even available to use to unlock the car.

In the event that you need to hand the “keys” to a valet or have a backup in case your phone dies, the car also ships with a credit card-resembling NFC card. Users will just have to tap it in the area near the front door handle to unlock the vehicle, and then once more with a tap in between the front seats to ignite the engine.

Other companies like Volvo have experimented with this technology in recent years, but Tesla is the first to standardize the feature in one of its cars.

Following the reveal of the Model 3, it is clear that Tesla values minimalism. The Model 3’s interior is remarkably stark compared to other vehicles, removing the usual cluster of buttons in favor of one 15-inch touch screen panel.