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BMW announces support for digital car key for iPhone, a secure and easy way to lock, unlock, drive and share car keys.

28 Jun 2020 | International News : Germany


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

BMW was the first to integrate the iPod in their vehicles, the first to offer wireless CarPlay and now it will be the first to introduce support for the BMW Digital Key stored securely in the Apple Wallet for the iPhone.

Being the first to integrate iPod and wireless CarPlay, BMW continues its mark with the BMW Digital Key
The upcoming BMW Digital Key for the iPhone will enable customers to simply tap to unlock their vehicle and drive off 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, which is also compatible with the Apple Watch.

The car owner can also share access with up to five friends including a configurable car access option for young drivers which restricts top speed, horsepower, maximum radio volume and more. Management of access can be done from inside the car as well as through the Apple Wallet. If the iPhone turns off due to low battery, a power reserve function ensures the digital car keys still function for up to five hours.

The BMW Group was quick to recognise the potential of smartphones as digital keys - if done right. Standardising the Digital Key contributes to improved user experience, security and availability in smartphone models all of which were key to the BMW Group strategy for the Digital Key right from the start. Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium to press ahead with the establishment of global standards.

The BMW Digital Key will be stored in the Secure Element of the iPhone and accessed through Apple Wallet
The Digital Key specification 2.0 for Near-Field Communication has been released in May 2020, while the next generation of Digital Key using Ultra Wideband technology is already well underway.

BMW is excited to announce the availability of Digital Key for iPhone in 45 countries for a broad range of models including the 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, and 8 Series, as well as the X5, X6, X7, X5M and X6M as well as the Z4 if manufactured after 1 July 2020. Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.

BMW and Apple have also announced a new feature 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.

Drivers can plan their trip in advance on their iPhone or simply enter their destination through Apple CarPlay when they get into the car. Either way, Apple Maps will automatically pick the optimal route based on electric range and the locations of charging stations along the way. This seamless, simple feature will first be available for BMW in the fully electric BMW i4 launching next year.
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