A Tesla owner implanted her car's key into her arm so that she can start her Model 3 with her body (TSLA)

Graham Rapier
Tesla chip implant

Amie DD via YouTube


  • A software engineer in Texas spent almost a year working to embed her Tesla valet key in her arm.
  • Amie DD, who documented the saga on her YouTube page and blog, said the project was completed without a hitch.
  • Here's how she did it.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

There are Tesla fans, and then there are Tesla fans.

Amie DD, a software developer and biohacker in Texas, likely falls into the more enthusiastic of the two categories.

Over the past 11 months, Amie stripped down the valet card to her Tesla Model 3, removed the important bits, fabricated an implant, and successfully become a human embodiment of the key. Now she can unlock the electric car with just a wave.

Here's how she did it.

The key's antenna isn't limited to one small part of the card, like in a credit or debit card. Instead, it uses a small wire around the perimeter of the card. So instead of cutting that out, Amie had to dissolve the card in acetone.

Amie DD via YouTube

Removed from the card, the antenna was about 40 millimeters by 10 millimeters, or roughly the height of a Lego figure.

Amie DD via YouTube

With help from a company called VivoKey, which specializes in implantable chips for computer passwords, ID badges, and more, Amie had the Tesla antenna encased in polymer so that it could safely* be implanted beneath her skin.

Amie DD via YouTube

*Please do not try this at home.

"I talked to a few doctors — they were a little wary about doing this, because it's kind of a questionable thing," Amie said in a video.



From there, Amie enlisted the help of a piercing shop called Shaman Modifications to have the device installed.

Amie DD via YouTube

"He was amazing, detailed, explained all the steps to me," Amie said on her blog where she documented the entire process. "His studio was clean and sanitized. I was so nervous leading up to this, and he made the process so amazing!!"



Eventually, the chip made its way under her skin. We'll leave out the bloody parts, but here's the markup pre-operation.

Amie DD via YouTube

Amie hasn't posted any footage of the implant actually unlocking her car, but the hardware is very much in her body, according to the YouTube saga thus far.

Amie DD via YouTube

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1161112689495740421?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Why didn't I post a video of the chip working with my car the day I got it? 1. I was at @defcon this weekend! 2. My arm was swollen right after(none of my other chip implants read the first few days). I may have upgrades but unfortunately my body still heals at a human rate lol! pic.twitter.com/WKHogGKqmE



What if she gets a new car?

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

It's unclear whether the key could be used for a new car, but if the replacement were a Tesla, it might be possible.

Here's what VivoKey said:

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1161296755889061894?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
We're hoping @tesla sees that selling a key card applet on the @Fidesmo app store makes so much more sense vs selling physical cards that this perfect world will become a reality very soon. :)

"It makes me want to do it more," she said of skeptics who were critical of her plan. "Not because I want to defy them, but it makes me question why — why can't you do it that way, and what are the limitations?"

Amie DD via YouTube

Now read: