Apple's digital car key feature will soon be able to unlock and start your car with your iPhone still in your pocket0
Digital Key 3.0 tech will allow you to unlock and start your car with your iPhone still in your pocket
The Digital Key 2.0 technology works based on NFC to unlock or start a compatible car. The 3.0 version, however, will work based on Ultra Wideband and Bluetooth LE connectivity. These improvements of the technology will make it possible for you to unlock your car with the iPhone still in your pocket or bag.
The new Digital Key 3.0 does require a U1 chip for the Ultra Wideband to work, which means you have to rock an iPhone 11 or an iPhone 12 for that to work. And, of course, you need to have a compatible car as well.
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Digital Key 3.0 also improves security thanks to Ultra Wideband's precise location awareness, which will prevent relay attacks. Relay attack is an attack where the radio signal between your iPhone and the car is intercepted by a third party.
Still, the new tech will maintain NFC support as well, to make sure it is backward compatible and to allow unlocking your car up to five hours after an iPhone has run out of battery juice.
Digital car keys are stored in the Wallet app on an iPhone running iOS 13.6 or higher and Apple Watch with WatchOS 6.2.8 or higher. The feature is currently compatible with certain BMW models, manufactured after July 2020. Luckily, there are reports that Hyundai is also working on offering the feature later in 2021.
BMW previously stated its first vehicle with support for Digital Key 3.0 will be available in Europe in late 2021, and in the US by early 2022.