IPhone can be used as digital vehicle key — BMW

Apple iPhone 5S

Emily Schubert, Apple's Engineering Manager for Car Experience showed off the feature, which promises to revolutionize the way you start your vehicle for the 21st century.

Yesterday at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, BMW and Apple also announced a new feature for CarPlay users.

The feature will also allow auto owners share keys with other iOS users via iMessage by creating them a driving profile, allowing owners to place restrict how long family or friends have access to the keys.

Leaving the house used to involve a requisite 15-minute hunt for the vehicle keys. Setting up CarKey is done through the Wallet app, with additional setup actions performed in BMW's own smartphone app or referring to instructions listed on the infotainment system.

That's what Apple says.

Apple will soon introduce a feature called CarKey on its iOS software. To manage who can access the key, they may go to the app or inside the vehicle.

Apple is projected to unveil four different iPhone models this year, all featuring OLED panels and 5G support.

So just how does a digital key work?

Fortunately for BMW 5-series owners, the feature will be available starting in July on iPhone that use iOS 13.

When you want to unlock your auto, you just tap your iPhone to your car's door handle like you would an Apple Pay terminal.

The system uses Near-Field Communication (NFC) to "talk" to the vehicle. She tapped the 5er's door handle with her iPhone and the door unlocked. Once inside, placing the smartphone in a dedicated storage slot allows the vehicle to start when you press the ignition. The company is also working to make the same feature possible without taking the phone out of your pocket or bag.

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He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position. "The doctor is assessing the extent of the injury, but it's not looking good at all".

Right now, that's best.

While automakers already have apps that can open auto doors and start vehicles, what Apple wants to do is create a standard based on its secure hardware found in the iPhone and Apple Watch. You can deactivate these other keys at any time, and if your phone goes missing revoke access to the auto entirely through iCloud. This will eliminate the use of real auto keys.

Owners can share the vehicle key with five others through iMessage.

You can give a person unrestricted access to unlock and drive your auto, or you can set the shared key to Restricted Driving mode that lets you set restrictions that limit certain capabilities of the vehicle.

'They are even easier to share than a physical key. After you've shared a auto key, you can revoke access to it at any time.

You do have to use BMW's app to set it up. Maximum radio volume and horsepower can be limited too.

All this sounds great, but what if my iPhone battery dies?

If you lose your iPhone, you can clear the keys remotely via iCloud.

Are auto keys only supported on iPhone?

Getting into the fine print of things, the following iPhone and Apple Watch devices will work with the BMW Digital Key: iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE (second generation) and Apple Watch Series 5.

BMW has also announced that it's electric cars will get additional features if you use the wireless Apple CarPlay function. This could theoretically make digital auto keys shareable between iOS and Android devices, but that seems like it would be a little ways off.

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