Apple has recently announced in the WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developer Conference) that the German automaker BMW will soon be offering digital keys to its customers that work with its latest iOS.
Armed with an iPhone, BMW drivers will be able to lock, unlock and start their vehicles, and also share their keys electronically with up to five people.
In practice, a new BMW can be unlocked by the iPhone with its back to the vehicle at a distance of fewer than four centimetres from the handle of the driver’s door. The procedure starts with just placing the iPhone in its dedicated cradle and pressing on the start/stop buttons.
This feature is particularly useful for young drivers as the digital keys distributed by owners to other users of their vehicles can be configured. For instance, the keys can be created with settings to limit engine performance and impose dynamic stability control (DSC) and intelligent safety systems. The permissions can also be configured to vary from vehicle to another.
The purpose of this innovation is simply to replace traditional physical car keys with a fully secure iPhone solution.
The drivers will only have to access the BMW-connected application and select their vehicle model. The configuration process will begin immediately if it is compatible.
All of these operations can be done using the new near-field communication (NFC) protocol for connecting electronic devices over short distances. At the end of the procedure, the digital key is created and securely stored in the Apple Wallet of the iPhone.
Virtually all vehicles produced by BMW from July 2020, notably the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, M5 and M8 series will be compatible with the new system.
It is also crucial to note that only the iPhone XR, XS or newer will be compatible with the new digital keys, which will also work with Apple Watch (series 5 or later).
BMW has been a longstanding partner of Apple, and was the first automaker to come up with CarPlay in its vehicles.
Source: AFP Relaxnews.