Apple leak hints at using your iPhone as a car key

Lines of code within Apple’s latest software update hint at collaboration with BMW.

Apple product launch
Apple product launch

The Apple iPhone could soon be used as a key for your BMW if newly leaked information is correct.

Reporters at Apple-focused website 9to5Mac had found hints of a new ‘Car Key’ feature hidden in the code of an operating system update back in February. However, analysing the code of the latest update has uncovered suggestions that BMW will be the first manufacturer to take advantage of the technology.

BMW refused to comment to the US-based website, but pointed them to a press release from December, which indicates that the firm is working on smartphone key technology.

One paragraph reads: “The BMW Group took a leading role in the seamless integration of smart devices and the customers’ digital ecosystem in the early stages. Providing customers with simple, connected and “keyless” access to their vehicles has been a key area of innovation.

“Today, it is already possible to lock and unlock the vehicle, start the engine and share the key with others using the BMW Digital Key as part of BMW Connected on the smartphone. But this is only the first step in a global technological transformation being shaped and led by the BMW Group.”

The press release goes on to say that BMW is a member of the Car Connectivity Consortium, which is working to standardise digital key technology, alongside Apple. Other companies in the group include Audi, Hyundai, LG Electronics and Panasonic Samsung.

While this technology is still in its infancy, Tesla models can already be unlocked using a smartphone app. Owners can sync their phone to their car, which will unlock when they approach it and lock as they leave without having to press a button.

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