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Google Quietly Working on New Android 12 Digital Car Key Features

Digital car keys are expected to become more common rather sooner than later, as both Apple and Google are adding support for such a feature in their new operating systems.
Digital car keys to be part of Android 12 1 photo
Android 12, for example, which is coming later this year, will allow phones to double as a car key as long as users own a compatible vehicle. Of course, not a lot of car models would be supported at first, but given Google has made the implementation possible, there’s a chance more automakers add support for such capabilities on their new vehicles.

In the meantime, however, the Mountain View-based search giant is working on polishing the early support for digital car keys.

The latest version of Find My Device, for example, comes with additional refinements for digital car keys, as code observed following an APK teardown seems to indicate that features to suspend and delete certain keys would also be supported.

In other words, if you have already configured your Android 12 phone to double as a car key but somehow end up losing the device, you can then connect to Find My Device not only to block the handheld but also to suspend or delete the car keys.

So in theory, if someone finds your smartphone, they can’t unlock the car no matter what, though worth knowing is that setting up a digital car keydigital car key requires the mobile device to be protected with a passcode in the first place.

In other words, the new feature to suspend or delete Android 12 car keys is more of another security layer for users out there, as the one finding a lost phone would first have to break into the device.

Google is yet to officially announce the new capabilities, but the company has no reason to be in a hurry anyway. Android 12 is projected to be finalized later this summer before making its way to the first wave of devices, including Pixel phones, by the fall.


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