The smartphone is already an integral part of most people’s lives. It’s how you stay in contact with people, where you store your music and photos, and it’s even what you pay for stuff with. Soon, it may be replacing your car keys along with your wallet. Handy if you have a habit of losing both of those things.
Tesla paved the way with an app that replaced the traditional fob for its Model 3, and now, Apple is launching something imaginatively called ‘CarKey’. BMW will be the first company to use the technology for its ‘BMW Digital Key’, allowing users to unlock their car with their device and – once it’s placed in a smartphone tray – start the car and drive away.
The key will be stored in the iPhone’s ‘Secure Element’, and accessed via Apple Wallet. iPhone battery life isn’t known for being the best on well-used devices, but thankfully, the CarKey system is still able to function for up to five hours after the phone switches itself off when low on juice.
Access can be shared with five other devices, with the option of capping top speed, power, audio system volume and much more besides. The CarKey system works with Apple Watch, and it’s also possible to share access to one of the five via an iMessage.
CarKey is part of the incoming iOS 14 operating system and will work with the vast majority of BMW’s models, so long as they’re built after 1 July 2020.
Think this is a good idea, or do you have reservations? Let us know in the comments…
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