Apple wants you to use your iPhone to unlock your car. While the feature is not yet out, but it could be released sooner than expected.
As discovered by 9to5Mac, references to a new ‘CarKey’ feature have been found in iOS 13.4 beta. The feature seems to allow users to replace your car keys with an iPhone. But how does this feature work in the first place?
Well, you need to hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near an NFC-enabled car to use your iPhone as a car key. It appears that the digital key will be stored in the Wallet app. Most importantly, you might be able to share your CarKey with some other member of your family. Cool isn’t it?
Evidently, CarKey won’t require authentication with your FaceID, similar to how Express Transaction cards work. This means that you will be able to unlock or lock your car for up to 5 hours even if they have run out of battery.
Unlocking or locking your car with a smartphone isn’t a new concept. Last year, Huawei had launched a digital car key app that allows owners to control their cars using an Android phone and share a virtual car key with up to four users. At the moment, the Hyundai Digital Car key only supports new Sonata sedans.
Volvo is another automobile maker that has introduced digital car keys. In fact, Volvo first started selling cars without physical keys back in 2017. Its mobile app essentially replaces a traditional key.
The big caveat with Apple’s ‘CarKey’ is that it will only work with NFC-compatible cars, which means older cars will be left out.
At the moment, the CarKey feature has not been enabled in iOS, but we expect it to be out in the coming months. It’s likely that Apple is closely working with major car manufacturers to support CarKey.