- On Monday, Apple announced a new technology called CarKey, which will allow drivers to unlock and start their cars using only an iPhone.
- Apple plans to expand the feature to more cars, but the first car compatible with CarKey will be the 2021 BMW 5 Series, which hits US dealerships in July.
- CarKey will let users share virtual keys via iMessage and deactivate keys remotely in the event their phone is lost or stolen.
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Apple is launching a new iPhone feature called CarKey that will allow drivers to unlock their cars wirelessly with their phones, the company announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.
The digital car key will be available on devices equipped with Apple’s current iOS 13 operating system as well as the upcoming iOS 14 system, which was also unveiled on Monday. The first car to support the new feature will be the 2021 BMW 5 Series, which is set to hit US dealerships next month.
CarKey uses near-field communication and will enable drivers to unlock their vehicle by tapping their phone to the door handle. Placing a CarKey-enabled iPhone on the 5 Series’ wireless charging pad lets drivers start the car and drive off.
Additionally, users will be able to create new virtual keys for friends and family members, and share them via iMessage. During the announcement, Apple also touted the security benefits of CarKey, saying that keys can be deactivated remotely if a phone is lost or stolen.
Apple aims to expand the technology to other makes and models, and is working with auto-industry groups to do so. It also says it is developing technology that would allow drivers to unlock and start their cars, all while keeping their phone in a pocket or bag.
The company also announced updates to its Maps service, including a feature that would take into account an electric car’s make and model, battery level, and environmental conditions, and locate charging stations along a route.
Watch the CarKey announcement below:
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