Technology giant Apple announced an upgrade to its iPhone operating system, iOS 14 during the annual developer conference. The latest update allows car drivers to use their iPhone as a digital car key to unlock and start the vehicles.
The driver has to pair the iPhone or the Apple Watch with a car that supports the new feature from Apple that acts as a digital key. That iPhone needs to held near the car’s near communications reader, usually in or around a car’s door handle (rightside or leftside depending the country)
The driver can customize the options to unlock the car, like the use of the fingerprint scanner or the facial recognition feature to access the vehicle. The drivers can also use an “Express Mode” to skip the biometric scan. Once inside the car, the iPhone can be in the drivers pocket or dashboard or anywhere
Apple’s new CarKey can be shared with friends or family members through an iMessage, thereby making car sharing easier than ever through an iPhone. In case of lost or misplaced phone, the digital car key can be turned off using iCloud.
German carmaker BMW is the first one to offer the Apple CarKey, the feature is said to available in the upcoming 2021 BMW 5 Series.
Apple is said to be working with the other manufacturers from the auto industry to introduce the digital key in more cars in the near future. Carkey will be supported by Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 & the current version, iOS 13.
Apple devices supporting the digital CarKey feature
Car manufacturers like GM, Tesla have allowed owners to control certain features of the cars using their smartphones for years. Tesla Model 3 was the first car to use the smartphone as a key.