Recently Code found in an internal build of iOS 14 points to Apple working with BMW for a new ‘CarKey’ feature in the iOS. When the first iOS 13.4 beta was released, it was discovered that Apple was working on allowing one to use their iPhone as a car key. Now a new set of screenshots showing CarKey features have surfaced on Twitter.
CarKey feature will work in the same line as NFC. It eliminates the need to carry physical keys and users can use the app to lock or unlock the vehicle door. Before unlocking the app will authenticate your FaceID. However, in the screenshots, we see “Express Mode.” This is a mode in which users can unlock the door without having to authenticate on FaceID or punch in a passcode.
The screenshots are pretty much self-explanatory. You get to see car info, a toggle for Express mode. Furthermore, you will also be able to invite people and let them use your car. In this case, you can apparently choose between Truck Access, Access Only, and Access & Drive. The first option is useful if you want to restrict the access to Trunk. Access Only mode is when the guests can unlock your entire car but are not allowed to drive it. The Access & Drive mode offers complete access to your car and is as good as handing over the key to someone.
CarKey users will be able to share car keys via the messages app. Next time your friend wants to borrow your car you can simply send them a digital key. You can also do this while handing over your car to the valet.
CarKey feature does require Bluetooth Low Energy and Ultra-Wideband technology which is where the U1 chip of the iPhone 11 series comes in. So far, we have only seen Apple use the U1 chip for AirDrop transfers but it is clear that the chip has a lot of unused potential. BMW owners might soon be able to ditch their key and use the new ‘CarKey’ feature.[via DongleBookPro]