Being the leading marque when it comes to electric vehicles, Tesla strives to regularly introduce innovations that make their products and services stand out from the rest. During its most recent Battery Day event, consumers looked at improvements in battery technology, a new model S version, and a $25,000 all-electric platform. Now, in its latest announcement, owners can secure their accounts with their favourite two-factor authentication apps. As the company expands the connectivity features of its fleet, another layer of security is a welcome feature.
Tesla allows its vehicles to stay connected to the internet for multiple reasons. Mainly, it's for over-the-air (OTA) updates that fix certain bugs that could affect performance and functions. Meanwhile, via the smartphone companion app, users can view the car's status and more, while models that support Autopilot can be controlled as well. Company CEO Elon Musk previously indicated that on top of overall safety, cybersecurity is a top priority, reports Electrek.
"I think one of the biggest concern for autonomous vehicles is somebody achieving a fleet-wide hack," he said. "In principles, if someone was able to say hack all the autonomous Teslas, they could say – I mean just as a prank – they could say 'send them all to Rhode Island' [laugh] – across the United States... and that would be the end of Tesla and there would be a lot of angry people in Rhode Island." With two-factor authentication, the chances of its happening would drastically drop.
So far, security researchers were able to exploit some vulnerabilities when a Tesla vehicle was connected to unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Therefore, Musk acknowledged that two-factor authentication was definitely being eyed by its software engineers. Despite being an "embarrassingly late" feature, its implementation should please Tesla owners. A guide is available on the automaker's official support page for reference.
The Tesla app is available for iOS and Android devices. As for the authenticator app, it depends on what the user is comfortable with as long as it is compatible. For added convenience, accounts can support up to two registered devices. In situations wherein these devices are not accessible for some reason, a backup passcode is recommended. These are for one-time use only and new ones can be generated if the old ones have been compromised.