It just recently came to light that Ford’s “Phone-as-a-Key” feature may be vulnerable to attacks. Interestingly, similar reports just surfaced about Tesla’s own version of the special feature. Ford has now sent out an internal bulletin alerting dealers that the F-150 Lightning won’t be equipped with the “Phone as a Key” feature at delivery. Instead, the electric pickup truck’s feature will be enabled by Ford via an over-the-air software update that’s planned for late summer 2022. Lightning Owners forum shared the following screenshots of the internal bulletin and a related update provided by Ford:
Some modern automobiles include a technology that allows you to use your phone as a key. However, although it may work well in certain circumstances, it may not in others. This is dependent on a number of factors, like your location, phone model, and so on. However, the greater risk is the possibility of hacking. Hackers have discovered how to open automobiles using a “phone as key” function and, in some circumstances, drive them away. They just connect a gadget into a laptop computer, albeit the procedure is probably more difficult than it appears.
For those who aren’t familiar with such a feature, it allows owners not only to lock and unlock their vehicles with their smartphone, but also to start the truck, open the liftgate, and more. The feature works via Bluetooth, and you have to be within about 230 feet of the vehicle for it to engage. To be clear, despite the recent vulnerability reports, it’s not 100 percent clear why Ford isn’t yet rolling out the phone as a key feature. However, it may be safe to assume – at least until Ford provides some answers – that the potential vulnerability is playing a part in the automaker’s decision to remain cautious about the feature and delay its launch. Head down to our popular comment section and let us know what you think of Ford’s plan. Better safe than sorry, or unacceptable? Does your car have a “phone as key” feature? If so, do you use it?