You no longer have to bring your key fob to unlock and start your auto. The new BMW Digital Key functionality, which is also known as Apple CarKey, was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference.
The first vehicle supported will be the new 2021 BMW 5 series, which comes out next month, and Apple says its working on an industry-wide standard that would use its new U1 ultra-widebandchip instead of relying exclusively on NFC. The problem of not finding your keys or wasting a lot of time diving in the bottom of your bag or pockets is over; you just pick up the phone and voila.
For now it remains to be seen which other carmakers will get digital auto keys, but we suspect BMW will want a bit of exclusivity with this feature in the interim. The Digital Key specification 2.0 for NFC was released in May 2020 and the next generation Digital key using the Ultra-Wideband technology is already in process. They were also the first to offer wireless CarPlay and now the first to implement support for BMW Digital Key, which will be securely stored in the Apple Wallet for iPhone.
'They are even easier to share than a physical key.
The iPhone key feature will also support Express Mode to allow unlocks without biometric authentication and Power Reserve, so it'll continue to work up to five hours after an iPhone battery dies.
CarKey will allow the driver to share the virtual key with friends via its iMessage messaging app.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said of traditional vehicle keys: "They've been around for over 100 years but they've become big, bulky and ripe for reimagining".
Apple has unveiled its latest trick with CarKey, a new way to wirelessly unlock your auto with your iPhone.
It is being speculated that this feature can be accessed through Apple Wallet and also from inside the auto. Customers can unlock the vehicle and place the iPhone in the smartphone tray to start the engine.
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