Apple's CarKey Feature Might Soon Unlock More Than a Handful of BMW Models

Apple Car Key Demo 10 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/CNET Highlights
Apple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMWApple Digital Key for iPhone on BMW
You won't need to own a BMW 5 Series to use the Apple CarKey feature. Apple's digital car key feature uses NFC technology to unlock and fire your car. The technology that only worked on a handful of BMW models might soon be available to other brands.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, South Korean auto brand Hyundai and its high-end Genesis brand will support Apple's CarKey feature by summer. It's not yet clear which other models will use the digital car key feature, but the Ioniq 5 and other Hyundai models come with the proprietary NFC digital key. Engadget reported.

Apple's CarKey feature pairs your vehicle to an Apple gadget like an iPhone or Apple Watch, allowing users to give access to their digital key with family and friends. Apple's digital car feature works via Apple Wallet.

The digital car key feature focuses more on security than anything else. The auto manufacturer uses an existing trusted system to send the digital key to a user's phone that uses close-range NFC to grant access to the car.

It's pretty simple to use. All you need to do is tap your iPhone against the vehicle's door handle on the NFC reader location to unlock it. To fire the car, place the phone on the Qi wireless charger, and press your vehicle's ignition button.

NFC technology isn't new. It's been available on smartphones for a while. Apple's CarKey and its Andriod equivalent treat the user's phone as a physical car key. Users with ultra-wideband phones like the iPhone 11 don't need to get their phones out of their pockets or bags while opening or firing up their CarKey enabled cars.

In 2018, a group of leading smartphone and automotive brands unveiled a standardized approach to NFC unlocking the technology. This move laid the foundation for features like Apple CarPlay. Industry automotive and tech leaders including Apple, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen are part of the deal.

According to Engadget, if the leak is true, the California-based tech giant could significantly expand its audience for digital car keys.
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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
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Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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