Report: BMW and Apple Working on Improved Digital Key

by Member - Evanwritescars on March 25, 2020, 10:25 am

A new report suggests that BMW is working with Apple to develop a new CarKey feature that would let drivers use their iPhone in place of a physical fob. first reported on the new CarKey feature discovered in a beta version of iOS 13.4, and now says that it has found code in iOS 14 that shows BMW is the likely first partner.

BMW's statement to the site asking about the automaker's involvement said that "please understand that at this point we cannot confirm your request nor give you further details. We would like to refer you to our press release." Which isn't much of a denial at all.

The press release BMW referred to was one from December that stated that "The BMW Group took a leading role in the seamless integration of smart devices and the customers’ digital ecosystem in the early stages. Providing customers with simple, connected and “keyless” access to their vehicles has been a key area of innovation. Today, it is already possible to lock and unlock the vehicle, start the engine and share the key with others using the BMW Digital Key as part of BMW Connected on the smartphone. But this is only the first step in a global technological transformation being shaped and led by the BMW Group."

It also indicated that both Apple and BMW, among other automakers and tech companies, were charter members of the Car Connectivity Consortium, the group responsible for standardizing Digital Key features like the one BMW currently offers that can unlock and start the car remotely.

CCS Digital Key 2.0 allows improved connectivity using Near Field Communication) NFC, and Apple and BMW can already support those, 9to5mac says. The next release of the Digital Key spec will add passive and location-aware access, including the ability to leave your phone in your pocket or mag to access and start the car, which makes it much better for users.

9to5mac reports that the new version of Digital Key will use a new ultra-wideband chip found in the iPhone 11 versions, which BMW says will improve anti-theft protection and add that in-pocket convenience. Combined with wireless CarPlay this could let you leave your phone in your pocket to unlock, start, and get your calls, maps, and music from your phone._a__a2_

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