Apple is adding keyless entry with CarKey, a digital key kept in Apple's Wallet app, so you can use the phone to unlock and start your auto. Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer, and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.
Having this Car Key feature will also allow users to keep digital keys for various cars in one place.
Once a phone is registered, you can tap the iPhone on the door handle to unlock the vehicle. Once inside, the iPhone must be placed on the BMW's wireless charging pad before the driver can press the start button to fire the engine.
Additionally, virtual keys in the auto owner's Apple Wallet enables them to quickly create copies and send them via iMessage to their family members or friends (upto five users), allowing them to access the vehicle without the physical key. You can also remove access to someone you let borrow the vehicle once it's returned.
Apple's upcoming iOS 14 update is a massive overhaul for iPhone users.
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Much like how Tesla Model 3 owners can use their smartphone running the Tesla app to unlock the vehicle as they approach, using Bluetooth, iOS 14 will perform a similar trick.
Apple CarKey will be first seen on the recently facelifted 5 Series sedan and, in the near future, we expect this technology to be available in more BMW cars and SUVs sold globally. There is no purer, simpler, or more wholesome pleasure in this world than putting your keys in the ignition and starting your vehicle. This will eliminate the use of real auto keys.
Apple also highlighted the security benefits of CarKey, saying that digital keys can be deactivated remotely via iCloud if a phone is ever lost or stolen. Apple announced that it is already working with the auto industry to make the feature for more cars and expand the system with other manufacturers.
Lastly, the Car Key feature works with Apple Watch as well and can stay active for up to five hours even after the connected iPhone's battery runs out.