Apple Wants You to Use Your iPhone as a Car Key

By Tom Pritchard on at

Do you trust smart locks that you can open up with your phone? Well if you do Apple has the feature for you - the ability to use your iPhone as a car key. So you can stop carrying around your keys, except the ones you need to get in and out of your house.

Using NFC, which is notoriously restricted on iOS, you can use your iPhone as a contactless car key - instead of the regular contactless key you get when you buy the car. You know, the ones that cost a literal fortune to replace if they get lost or break. Apparently that's not an issue anymore.

The data for your car key is stored within the iPhone's secure element, can be deleted via iCloud, and can be shared via iMessage in case you want someone else to drive your car and hope your insurance company doesn't find out. Sharing obviously comes with restrictions, though the details on what that will involve hasn't been shared yet.

This feature will come to iOS 14 and iOS 13, and will be compatible with the 2021 BMW five series first of all. No more cars have been announced, but Apple is working on some sort of standard that uses the phone's U1 chip and hopes more car makers will adopt it soon.

Obviously it's only going to be in fancy new and expensive cars, and probably won't be added to older models retroactively. So don't expect this to be that widespread anytime soon.