Tesla, usually the first to adapt to new technologies, has been quite late to one of the most basic security features being used by almost all large scale apps — two factor authentication. However, Elon Musk has confirmed that the ‘new’ feature, which has been “embarrassingly late,” is going through final validation right now and will arrive pretty soon.
First of all, those of us who don’t own a Tesla and thus, probably don’t know what the Tesla app is about, need not be confused. The app is basically a tool to transform your phone into a key for your Tesla car, and works pretty swiftly on the company’s new cars. Moreover, it also allows you to remotely lock and unlock the doors, turn on the HVAC system, monitor and control charging, locate the vehicle etc. Thus, it’s basically a remote control for your Tesla vehicle.
However a feature like this can be quite risky, for any slip in security might cost you a Tesla car. Thus, users have been asking the company to expand the service to provide two factor authentication, which basically combines a one time password with something you own (like a phone or an email). Using two factor authentication, you can secure an app’s functionality by requiring a password every time you want to access it, which you can only receive if you have the right device.
This password can either come to your phone through an SMS, or through an authenticator app.
Tesla has been promising two factor authentication since May 2019, with Musk noting in April 2020 that the feature was “coming soon.” However, no official word had come from the company since then, which agitated a lot of Tesla owners.
Now, Elon has confirmed in a tweet that the feature is going through final validation right now.
Sorry, this is embarrassingly late. Two factor authentication via sms or authenticator app is going through final validation right now.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2020
The company has not made it clear if the final version of the two factor authentication feature will work through SMS or an authentication app.