Soon, owners of new BMW cars will be able to get behind the wheel of their ride using an iPhone. The idea of using phone to unlock a car is not new. Heck. There’s even a pitch to use a smartphone to tune the car, but BMW will become the first to let car owners to use iPhone as a fully digital car key.
Personally, I wouldn’t entrust a device that runs the risk of low battery, or conks out completely, because of it being used for other tasks to access and start a car. But that’s just me. Anywho, it will be an option for future BMW owners if they so want to advantage of it.
With BMW Digital Key for iPhone, you can use your iPhone as a car key to lock, unlock, and drive. You will be able to share keys with family and friends too. Once in the car, all you have to do is to place the iPhone in the smartphone tray and push the start button, and voila, you are good to roll.
Setup of the Digital Key can be done using the BMW Smartphone App. The app lets you grant access to up to 5 other people via iMessage, plus you will have the ability to configure car access option for young drivers which restrict top speed, horsepower, maximum radio volume (yes, even this!) and more.
Remember our concern about the phone’s battery conking out? Well, apparently, there is a power reserve for iPhone where car keys will still function for up to five hours if the iPhone turns off due to low battery. Smart.
Storage will be in the Secure Element of your iPhone and accessed through Apple Wallet, and so it should be secure. Should.
Finally, Digital Key will have Apple Watch compatibility.
BMW Digital Key for iPhone was announced today at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) today and it will be a feature on a wide range of BMW models manufactured after July 1st, 2020. Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.
All images courtesy of BMW Group.