Your iPhone might soon double as a car key, iOS beta reveals

Your iPhone might soon double as a car key, iOS beta reveals
Apple has a mission and that mission is to make it so that people can leave their homes only carrying an iPhone in their pocket. It has already taken care of payments, public transit passes and even some forms of ID. But now it’s going a step further!

In the bowels of the freshly-released iOS 13.4 beta, 9to5Mac stumbled upon something intriguing. A new “CarKey” API has been added to the operating system. CarKey will use the phone’s NFC chip to communicate with cars that have NFC (and support the feature) and will let users start their cars without a key.

You’ll be able to add a car key to your phone through Apple’s Wallet app by placing your iPhone next to the car’s NFC reader during the setup process. Once a key has been added to the app, you’ll be able to start the car by tapping your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Face ID won’t be required for CarKey to function, just like with Express Transit Cards, which means even if your phone’s battery is dead you’ll still be able to start your car (a small charge is reserved to keep the NFC chip active).

Another cool feature that the digital key enables is the option to share your car’s key through the Wallet app. So, your spouse or other family members can use your car without having to constantly hand over the keys back and forth. This also means you can have multiple keys in your Wallet, which might be a huge benefit for corporations with large fleets of company cars.  

With car keys taken care of and home smart locks being a thing for a while, all that’s left is for Apple to figure out how to embed driver’s licenses and other government-issued IDs in its phones and the three-tap keys-wallet-phone check will be reduced to a single phone tap.

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6 Comments

8. TechDork

Posts: 405; Member since: May 10, 2010

Won't be my car LOL. My 2014 Corolla isn't that fancy haha.

6. TBomb

Posts: 1749; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

We need to stop trying to make our phones do EVERYTHING. I realize it's convenient, but we will be so reliant on them (like we're not already...) that if it dies one afternoon, we will die with it. "My phone is my insulin giver, car keys, and communication tool. If it dies and I need my insulin, I won't know because I never needed know how to be aware of when I needed it by myself. I can't drive to the hospital because it was my car key. Now I can't call anyone for help because it was my only communication tool."

5. Vancetastic

Posts: 1948; Member since: May 17, 2017

It won't require FaceID....that doesn't sound like a good idea.

4. Ichimoku

Posts: 194; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

stolen iPhones? nope stolen key car, yes.

1. zebraman

Posts: 68; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

Hauwai p30 pro can unlock your car through NFC on you phone if you own a newer Audi car

7. Vokilam

Posts: 1481; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

So can iPhone - right now there are a few cars that are app based from manufacturer. I think this is more of a MFi thing or Home Kit.

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