Tesla driver stranded in desert after car app fails
The driver of a Tesla car was reportedly left stranded in the desert when his car’s control app failed. Ryan Negri was using a key-less smartphone app to unlock and power his car, which failed when he came to an area with no signal.
Negri decided to leave the key fob to his Tesla Model S at home, believing the app would be all he needed for a drive in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas on Saturday. About six miles (10km) from his home he stopped to adjust his dogs’ car bed, powering off the car to do so, which was when the trouble started.
“Need to restart the car now, but, with no cell service, my phone can't connect to the car to unlock it,” Negri wrote on Instagram later in the day.
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.
The Tesla app requires internet access, in both the car and phone, to access the company's servers to unlock and start the car.
Stranded in the desert with an unusable car, Negri’s wife made her way to higher ground where she managed to get phone signal and contact a friend for help. They then brought her home to collect the fob and bring her back.
Negri admitted on Twitter that his predicament was his own fault, but criticized Tesla for not having a contingency plan in place for such situations, suggesting a simple password to unlock the car.
Tesla rival Faraday’s FF91 boasts a facial recognition feature, allowing the driver to unlock the car automatically on approach. The vehicle isn’t without bugs, however, failing miserably to demonstrate its self-parking feature at the recent Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas.