Apple Unveils New CarKey Feature To Unlock Your Vehicle Using Your Phone

Apple announces iPhone-based Digital Key for BMW

That could be of use if you're lending your vehicle to a teen driver, for example, and you can revoke the keys later at any time. The feature is the main newly unmasked iOS 14, and it will work over NFC, Apple says.

Apple iPhone and Watch users will soon be able to securely unlock their cars with digital keys and BMW will support this feature first.

When sharing a digital vehicle key, you'll be able to restrict certain features in your auto, such as limiting acceleration, top speed and stereo volume.

But all of this will seem cumbersome after Ultra Wideband Technology is implemented next year using the Apple-developed U1 chip.

Apple will roll out CarKey in the 2021 BMW 5 Series, which will be released in July.

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Management of access can be done from inside the vehicle as well as through Apple Wallet.

The iPhone as a Digital Key.

The manufacturer says it will enable customers to "just tap to unlock and easily get going by placing the iPhone in the smartphone tray and pushing the start button".

CUPERTINO-At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference held Monday, the company best known for its iPod and iPhone devices said it wants the latter to replace the ubiquitous auto key.

CarKey also lets you share keys with other iOS users via iMessage by creating a driver profile that restricts how long friends and family have access to the key.

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Apple is working with standards groups to pave the way for expanding the technology to more cars.

Customizing your key fob is possible via the mobile app called BMW Smartphone, and enabling/disabling smartphone access is possible through Apple Wallet or the infotainment system. This digital key will also support Apple Watch.

This system will be available on almost all BMWs built from 1 July onwards, including the 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 8 Series, X5, X6, X7 and Z4 models.

"They've been around for over 100 years but they've become big, bulky and ripe for reimagining", said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering.

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