If you were worried about installing the Coronavirus app on your phone, it will be interesting to see what you make of this one.

At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference it has been announced that BMW will become the first carmaker to enable its customers to use their iPhone as a fully digital car key.

The upcoming BMW Digital Key for the iPhone will enable customers to just tap to unlock and easily get going by placing the iPhone in the smartphone tray and pushing the start button.

Setup of the Digital Key can be done through the BMW Smartphone App.

The car owner can also share access with up to 5 friends including a configurable car access option for young drivers which restricts top speed, horse power, maximum radio volume and more.

Management of access can be done from inside the car as well as through Apple Wallet.

Additional features of the new Digital Key include:

  • Storage in the Secure Element of your iPhone and access through Apple Wallet
  • Power reserve for iPhone where car keys will still function for up to five hours if the iPhone turns off due to low battery
  • Ability to share access with up to 5 friends via iMessage
  • Apple Watch compatibility

Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to press ahead with the establishment of global standards.

The Digital Key specification 2.0 for NFC has been released in May, 2020 while the next generation of Digital Key using Ultra Wideband technology is already well underway.

Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.

Digital Key for iPhone in 45 countries for a broad range of models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1, 2020.

BMW and Apple also have also announced a new feature for Apple Maps that that will make it easier than ever for CarPlay users to take BMW electric vehicles on longer journeys by automatically taking into account when and where to charge.

For more information please visit www.bmw.com/digitalkey

iphone
BMW owners will soon be able to operate their car with their phone.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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