Apple Wants to Transform Your iPhone Into a Car Key

Unlock your car with digital keys

Unlock your car with digital keys on iPhone Apple Watch. Pixabay

Apple is adding keyless entry with CarKey, a digital key kept in Apple's Wallet app, so you can use the phone to unlock and start your vehicle.

It will also be compatible with the Apple Watch.

Unlock your car with digital keys
BMW will be one of the first Automobile companies to support this feature. Pixabay

To use the key, an iPhone or Apple Watch is paired with a auto that supports auto Key, which the 2021 BMW 5 Series does, to begin with, and the user is prompted to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID, though an "Express Mode" can also be met for those too impatient to maximize their vehicle's theft protection. So, the next time when a user comes in proximity to the NFC placement in the auto, for instance door handles, the vehicle will automatically unlock for the user. Then drivers place the iPhone on the car's charging pad and push the ignition button to start the auto. It also lets the customer control other facilities of the vehicle like restricting the top speed, maximum radio volume, horsepower and more.

The features are part of a major operating system update that Apple introduced Monday for its iPhones that also includes route-guidance settings for two carbon-reducing modes of transportation that haven't before been included in its native Maps app: electric cars and bicycles.

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The feature will also let users share keys via Messages. The company is saying it is working on an "industry-wide standard" that will utilize the new U1 ultra wideband chip instead of depending exclusively on NFC.

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"It uses NFC and you just tap to unlock". With an upcoming software update, the iPhone can soon unlock and start a vehicle like a standard key. However it's likely that the iPhone 12 itself will still use Apple's Lightning connector, with next year's iPhone 13 said to be removing ports entirely for a fully wireless experience according to certain rumors.

You do have to use BMW's app to set it up. The system will be available next year in the BMW i4.

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