BMW has introduced an upgraded model of its cell automobile key know-how dubbed Digital Key Plus. It guarantees to permit iPhone house owners to unlock choose BMW automobiles with out having to take out their telephones. The function depends on extremely wideband (UWB) which has been included in Apple’s flagship iPhones for the reason that iPhone 11 due to the U1 chip. Digital Key Plus will debut on the all-electric BMW iX which launches later this yr in Europe and subsequent yr within the US.
The large good thing about Digital Key Plus, in keeping with BMW, is that it makes use of UWB so it really works with an iPhone that’s nonetheless in your pocket or bag. In distinction, the present Digital Key system utilized by Apple and BMW is NFC primarily based, so you need to maintain an iPhone (or Apple Watch) close to the automobile’s tag to unlock it. BMW additionally emphasizes the safety of its new UWB strategy, noting that it’s immune to relay assaults which may try to jam or intercept its sign and gives “the best doable safety.”
At current, solely a restricted variety of iPhones embrace the U1 chip that gives UWB help. It debuted in the iPhone 11 and was later included within the iPhone 12, however was missing from the budget iPhone SE 2020 that launched early final yr. The U1 chip was also included on the Apple Watch Sequence 6, launched final yr.
Apple constructed help for digital automobile keys into iOS with version 13.6 last year, following its announcement at WWDC 2020. MacRumors notes that BMW is at the moment the one automobile producer to make use of the know-how, although Business Korea reports that Hyundai has plans to undertake the function later this yr.
There’s a push to make UWB a regular for digital keys. When it introduced help for digital automobile keys in June final yr, Apple mentioned it was working on an industry-wide standard that may use its U1 chip. In in the present day’s announcement, BMW says it’s working with Apple and the Automotive Connectivity Consortium to construct UWB help into model 3.0 of the Digital Key specification.