At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week, Apple announced a new service for its new iOS 14 called Car Key, a wireless solution that allows users to unlock their car using an iPhone or Apple Watch and biometric authentication.
According to Apple the new service will initially work via near-field communication (NFC), though it is reportedly working on a version that would use its new U1 ultra wideband chip that would be compatible with a wider range of vehicles as it wouldn’t rely only on NFC to work.
Car Key will operate by having the user pair their iPhone or Apple Watch with the compatible vehicle — the first car to support Car Key is the upcoming 2021 BMW 5 Series, due to hit the market next month — and then simply holding it against an NFC reader in the car.
This will prompt the user to authenticate their identity with either Face ID or Touch ID, after which — assuming authentication is successful — the car will unlock.
The idea of using biometric authentication to allow or deny access to a vehicle is not totally uncharted territory, but as is often the case with Apple, the inclusion of it baked into the popular iOS operating system could lead to the mainstream acceptance of the technology.
Users will apparently have the option to set up ‘Express Mode’, which skips biometric authentication, though without it anyone could unlock the vehicle using just the NFC panel. In the event that you want to lend the use of your car to a family member or friend, Car Key — which will also be compatible with iOS 13 — has the option to share access via iMessage.
Source: The Verge