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The Car Connectivity Consortium today announced that its Digital Key 3.0 specification with support for Ultra Wideband and Bluetooth LE connectivity is finalized and now available to members, including Apple.

bmw-car-key-photo.jpg

In 2020, Apple introduced a digital car key feature that allows users to unlock and start a compatible vehicle by holding an iPhone or Apple Watch near the driver-side door. The feature is powered by the NFC-based Digital Key 2.0 specification, and once Apple moves to Digital Key 3.0, users will be able to unlock and start a compatible vehicle without needing to take their iPhone out of their pocket or bag.

The improved Ultra Wideband version of Apple's car key feature would require devices with the U1 chip like iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models.

Digital Key 3.0 also improves security, as Ultra Wideband's precise location awareness is said to prevent relay attacks, where the radio signal between the iPhone and vehicle is jammed or intercepted by another party. NFC support is maintained to ensure backward compatibility and, in Apple's case, the ability to use the car key feature to unlock a vehicle for up to five hours after an iPhone has run out of battery power.

Similar to credit cards and boarding passes, digital car keys are stored in the Wallet app on an iPhone or Apple Watch running iOS 13.6 or watchOS 6.2.8 or newer. So far, the feature is only compatible with select BMW models manufactured since July 2020, but a Korean report claimed that Hyundai plans to start offering the feature later this year.

Apple previously said the new version of its car key feature with Ultra Wideband support would be available in 2021, but the company did not provide an exact timeframe. BMW previously said its first vehicle with support for Digital Key 3.0 would be available in Europe starting in late 2021 and in North America by early 2022.

Article Link: Apple's Digital Car Key Feature Will Soon Work With Your iPhone in Your Pocket
 

cmcbhi

Contributor
Nov 3, 2014
204
233
FWIW, if I approach my BMW with its BMW key in my pocket, The door(s) will unlock when I touch the door handle. It can be set to unlock all doors or just the driver's door. When I get out and walk away, the doors, will lock without me having to do anything but walk away.
Hard to see the iPhone/watch digital key improving on this.
 

Hajj.david

macrumors member
May 17, 2021
34
102
FWIW, if I approach my BMW with its BMW key in my pocket, The door(s) will unlock when I touch the door handle. It can be set to unlock all doors or just the driver's door. When I get out and walk away, the doors, will lock without me having to do anything but walk away.
Hard to see the iPhone/watch digital key improving on this.
Not having your key is the glaringly obvious improvement. One less thing to carry
 

matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
7,453
4,265
FWIW, if I approach my BMW with its BMW key in my pocket, The door(s) will unlock when I touch the door handle. It can be set to unlock all doors or just the driver's door. When I get out and walk away, the doors, will lock without me having to do anything but walk away.
Hard to see the iPhone/watch digital key improving on this.
If it can do all that then it’s already an improvement since you don’t have to carry your key anymore.
 
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IllinoisCorn

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2021
1,016
1,320
FWIW, if I approach my BMW with its BMW key in my pocket, The door(s) will unlock when I touch the door handle. It can be set to unlock all doors or just the driver's door. When I get out and walk away, the doors, will lock without me having to do anything but walk away.
Hard to see the iPhone/watch digital key improving on this.
You won't need to carry your keys.

It's how my Tesla (and I assume all of them) work. Have the phone in your pocket and the door just opens.

My house doors open with codes and things, so I haven't carried keys in...months.

One less thing to lose!
 
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kasei

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2003
628
148
Los Angeles, CA
FWIW, if I approach my BMW with its BMW key in my pocket, The door(s) will unlock when I touch the door handle. It can be set to unlock all doors or just the driver's door. When I get out and walk away, the doors, will lock without me having to do anything but walk away.
Hard to see the iPhone/watch digital key improving on this.
I lost my wife's X3 key fob and it cost $400 to replace it. I just got a M440 and I use the digital car key a lot so I don't have to carry my BMW key fob. I agree it is hard to replace some of the user experience when carrying the fob, but being able to leave my key fob at home and just use my phone is a huge bonus. For additional security I use FaceID to unlock and start my car.
 

centauratlas

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2003
1,535
2,718
Florida
Having it in the Watch and iPhone is a nice feature. It isn't enough to replace my 5 year old car for a few more years, but whenever we do replace the cars, it is just a nice little extra feature. I think one would still want to carry a key since while the phone can still do it 5 hours after it has run out of power, you might hit 5 hours and 5 minutes. I haven't run out of power on the phone in years though.

If anyone has used it with the BMW, can you share your key with a spouse? Child? Seems like perhaps it would work like you can with smart locks where you can share your key. Maybe?
 

Saladin12

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2021
465
860
Having it in the Watch and iPhone is a nice feature. It isn't enough to replace my 5 year old car for a few more years, but whenever we do replace the cars, it is just a nice little extra feature. I think one would still want to carry a key since while the phone can still do it 5 hours after it has run out of power, you might hit 5 hours and 5 minutes. I haven't run out of power on the phone in years though.

If anyone has used it with the BMW, can you share your key with a spouse? Child? Seems like perhaps it would work like you can with smart locks where you can share your key. Maybe?
Yeah you absolutely can. As long as they’re on iPhone. You can set limits and all sorts
 

Benjamin Nabulsi

Contributor
Apr 28, 2020
318
635
digital watches should be the key, phones can be lost but watches would be harder to lose.
I know tesla has the app but apple watch support would be nice.
All in all first would problems for sure lol
 
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Razorpit

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2021
591
983
Not having your key is the glaringly obvious improvement. One less thing to carry
Oh the humanity... ?

While at your car? Hardly, since it’s now very easy to charge iphone when using car.
And if your phone is dead when you get back to your car after a party/sporting event/a concert/a night on the town?

I lost my wife's X3 key fob and it cost $400 to replace it. I just got a M440 and I use the digital car key a lot so I don't have to carry my BMW key fob. I agree it is hard to replace some of the user experience when carrying the fob, but being able to leave my key fob at home and just use my phone is a huge bonus. For additional security I use FaceID to unlock and start my car.
Let me introduce you to an engeius product called "the AirTag".... ?
 

Derekuda

Suspended
Oct 2, 2004
354
1,283
Just wait until you miss your first car payment.... then the bank will disable your phone key fob! You just KNOW apple is in bed with the banks/car dealerships working out those details.
 
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ThatGuyInLa

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2012
670
763
Longs, SC
This should be a fairly simple and lucrative market for installers. At least for adding Auto Unlock. Adding a module to older cars or newer cars without the ability. Should just tap right into the power locks line.

My Jeep has push button start with the key fob in the pocket but does not super perimeter (un)locking oddly.
 
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