Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,993
19,857


In 2020, Apple introduced a digital car key feature that allows users to unlock and start a compatible vehicle by bringing an iPhone or Apple Watch near the driver-side door. The feature has been limited to select BMW models since launching.

bmw-car-key-photo.jpg

According to Apple, the feature has now expanded to select 2022 vehicle models from Genesis and Kia, which are both divisions of Korean automaker Hyundai. Apple updated a list of vehicles on its website this week to indicate that the 2022 Genesis GV60, 2022 Genesis G90, and 2022 Kia Niro now support the iPhone's car key feature.

It is unclear if the car key feature is widely available for the aforementioned Genesis and Kia models or if it is still in the process of rolling out. A spokesperson for Kia declined to specifically comment on support for Apple's car key feature, but did say that the company's Digital Key 2 system announced in January will be coming to the 2023 Niro. Genesis and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple began preparing for Genesis to support the feature last year.

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. The feature originally used NFC technology only, which required the iPhone or Apple Watch to be held near the vehicle, but a new version of the feature based on Ultra Wideband technology allows users to use the feature without having to remove their ‌iPhone‌ from their pocket.

The improved Ultra Wideband version of Apple's car key feature requires devices with the U1 chip like the iPhone 11 and Apple Watch Series 6 and newer. NFC support is maintained to ensure backward compatibility and 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.

This feature is part of Apple's efforts to offer digital versions of commonly carried items. Apple today announced that its driver's license and state ID feature in the Wallet app has launched in Arizona, with more U.S. states to follow soon.

Update March 25: This article has been updated to clarify that Kia declined to comment on Apple car key support specifically, but said that its previously announced Digital Key 2 system will be coming to the 2023 Kia Niro.

Article Link: iPhone's Car Key Feature Now Supports Select 2022 Genesis and Kia Vehicles [Updated]
 
Last edited:

dwaltwhit

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
913
1,639
Tennessee
So the NFC sensor (?) lives in the handle. Is that where the computer that validates the pass is or does it send that information to the computer in the dashboard? Forgive my ignorance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Barron

rjtyork

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2009
188
303
Please let this be available someday for my 2022 Prius. I know it’s not likely, but with my AZ DL now digitized, I’m SO CLOSE to being keyless and walletless. I would be so psyched to finally get rid of my key fob.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MacRoyal

roncron

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2011
873
1,498
I would be great if current and previous model years of cars could be retrofitted to support Apple car key.

Does anyone recall how long it took before CarPlay compatibility became standard on pretty much all new vehicles? Was it initially introduced in very few vehicles?
 

mattb19us

macrumors newbie
Nov 13, 2019
29
32
I just bought a 2022 BMW X4 which apparently is one of the only models that does not support Car Key. Super disappointed
 

jaytv111

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
650
398
So the NFC sensor (?) lives in the handle. Is that where the computer that validates the pass is or does it send that information to the computer in the dashboard? Forgive my ignorance.
The handle just has an antenna. The car’s main computer handles what electronic keys are accepted.
I think it's really pretty dumb...the fob has many more features and you don't have to get it out of your pocket.
The UWB version lets you unlock and lock doors remotely or open the trunk. And UWB also works the same as a key fob, you don’t need to scan your phone. The NFC version is what sucks compared to a fob but UWB is equivalent to a keyfob.
 

reznq

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2010
36
13
Car Key implementations that allow you to keep your phone in your pocket/bag are already shipping (see BMW iX):

  • Enjoy maximum comfort with the automatic unlocking and locking feature by BMW Digital Key Plus.

  • As soon as you approach your BMW, it welcomes you with a light display and unlocks the doors.

  • Thanks to ultra-wideband technology, your BMW reliably recognises your iPhone, even if it is in your bag or pocket and provides even greater security from relay attacks.
 

dwaltwhit

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
913
1,639
Tennessee
The handle just has an antenna. The car’s main computer handles what electronic keys are accepted.
Dang. I was trying to fathom how this could be an aftermarket handle swap. Like for $200, the dealership will trade out my door handle for a UWB or NFC one and be done with it.
 

kmm333

macrumors member
Dec 6, 2016
55
111
I think it's really pretty dumb...the fob has many more features and you don't have to get it out of your pocket.
Did you read the article? You don’t have to remove your phone from your pocket with the updated version of CarKey. Not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to carry one less thing (or at the very least have a fail safe).
 

Deguello

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
1,347
1,218
Texas
Why have housekeys? I don’t have any keys except the car fob
Because my parents don’t have a smart lock and my younger daughter can’t just put one on her apartment.

And, though it’s not a house key, I have a mailbox key.
 

User(1)

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2021
2
3
Tesla needs to support it ASAP..
I don’t know about other Teslas but I have a 2021 Model 3 and I only use my iPhone to open it. You load the key card into the Tesla App. The car came with 2 key cards and no fob. So I would say Tesla is already doing something similar.

I don’t take my phone out and move it next to the door. That looks odd. I just need to have my phone on me. Works great, just don’t delete the app or you’ll need the keycard reloaded to your phone to use the feature. Keep a charged phone or you will need the card. So far I’ve been without my wallet or any keys since January of 2021. I wish there was CarPlay in the Tesla but their setup isn’t terrible. It just could be better. The latest update to the car software was a well needed makeover. Sorry so long.
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,792
4,318
Right now I just walk to my car and as long as the key fob is in my pocket, I just pull the door handle and it unlocks. I walk away and it locks on its own.

This car key seems better suited for sharing a digital key.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mebehere
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.