Tesla owner locked out of car after driving into no-signal area

Tesla owner locked out of car after driving into no-signal area
Tesla owner locked out of car after driving into no-signal area

A Tesla driver managed to lock himself out of his car after he used his smartphone to start the vehicle and left the keys at home.

Ryan Negri, an angel investor in the US, went for a drive in Red Rock Canyon at the weekend to take some pictures of the newly fallen snow. Unfortunately, as Tesla models require a network connection to unlock using a smartphone, Mr Negri and his wife were locked out of the car.

His wife Amy ran two miles to find signal, and managed to call a friend to pick her up to retrieve the keys from home, as spotted by Recode.

Stranded 6 miles from home, 2 miles from cell service; our Saturday morning. The thought was to go for a quick drive to take some photos of the freshly-fallen mountain snow. Having only my phone in my pocket, I unlocked and started the car with it, and we left. 6 miles down the road we decided to turn back, but before that, had to adjust Mozy & Millie's car bed, so I exited the vehicle…bad idea. Need to restart the car now, but, with no cell service, my phone can't connect to the car to unlock it. Even with cell service, the car would also need cell service to receive the signal to unlock. @amymnegri, the hero she is, started running to reach cell service height. After about 2 miles she reached signal and called a friend for a ride to the house to grab the key fob. The key that will always be with me (now) when I drive that car.

A photo posted by Ryan Negri (@ryannegri) on

Tesla has been experimenting with keyless driving for several years. Owners of Tesla’s Model S cars can unlock it, start the car and drive away, entirely independent of a key, given they have an internet connection. It also locks automatically once the doors are closed.

Tesla Model 3: what you need to know

While such technological advances offer much in the way of convenience, they can also present new dangers. Late last year, researchers from Norwegian security firm Promon found Tesla vehicles were easily trackable via vulnerabilities in the company’s app. The team were also able to unlock and take control of some of the car’s functions.

In October Tesla announced that all future models will come equipped with the necessary hardware to drive free from human intervention.

FREMONT, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California. After several production delays, Elon Musk officially launched the much anticipated Tesla Model X Crossover SUV. The (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty) Elon Musk stands with the newly announced Tesla X in September 2015

The electric car firm said vehicles in production would feature “the hardware needed for full self-driving capability”, including 12 sensors, eight cameras, a radar and inbuilt computer.

While the self-driving equipment will be worth $8,000 (£6,525), the software required for the cars to drive entirely autonomously is still be developed, chief executive Elon Musk said.

Tesla’s Model S and Model X electric cars will be the first models manufactured with the hardware, which will gather information in a “shadow mode” while the software is being developed.

Who is Elon Musk?

Elon Musk, 45, is the South African-born mastermind behind SpaceX and electric car company Tesla Motors. Mr Musk also founded software company Zip2 and financial service X.com, which later merged with PayPal. He is currently waiting on approval from his shareholders to acquire solar power system provider SolarCity. With an estimated net worth of $11.5bn (£9.4bn), he is the 83rd wealthiest person on the planet, and has now set his sights on other galactic territories: namely Mars. The father of six envisions humans living on Mars from 2024, saying he wants to lower the risk of human extinction “by making life multiplanetary”.