Apple’s working on a new car key feature that’ll allow iPhone owners to unlock their cars using their iPhones. And now, a recently discovered portion of iOS 14 code suggests BMW may be the first manufacturer to embrace this new feature.
What’s known is that the BMW Group is supportive of the new Digital Key standard that provides keyless access to vehicles. BMW already has enabled some of this technology in its BMW connected app, which allows a person to lock or unlock their car as well as change climate controls remotely.
BMW says in its press releases that its connected mobile system is “only the first step in a global technological transformation being shaped and led by the BMW Group.”
BMW also is involved in the Car Connectivity Consortium, which is one of the driving forces behind this push for a Digital Key solution. Other significant players include electronics companies like Apple and Samsung and car manufacturers such as Audi, GM, Volkswagen, among others.
Apple is likely poised to support Digital Key Release 3.0, which allows users to open and start their vehicle without taking their phone out of their pocket or purse.
This new standard likely will use low-energy Bluetooth along with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology, both of which are supported in the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
It’s not surprising that Apple may be working with BMW on this Digital key. BMW was one of the first car manufacturers to adopt CarPlay shortly after it debuted in 2014.
The company continues to support Apple’s in-car technology, recently dropping its $80 per year subscription to use CarPlay in select BMW infotainment systems.