Start Your BMW with an iPhone? It’s a Brave New World

Posted 6/29/20

Ready to open and start your BMW with your iPhone?

Apple CarKey — a new feature coming to iPhones soon — enables iPhone owners to open and start supported cars using their handsets, rather than a physical keyfob.

According to code found inside iOS 14, BMW could be the first car manufacturer to launch the feature.

Pocket-lint reports:

“(CarKey) was first discovered in beta code of iOS 13.4, but later code for iOS 14 reveals a bit more info, including the prospective first manufacturer to sign up.

“BMW has been active in developing and implementing keyless technology for a while, outlining its intentions to adopt a universal Digital Key standard.”

Hot Off the Presses Rumour

The clue in the code was first reported by 9to5Mac. When asked, BMW didn’t deny the suggestion, but replied: “Please understand that at this point we cannot confirm your request nor give you further details. We would like to refer you to our press release.”

Published last December, that press release refers to BMW’s efforts to adopt a new smartphone and watch Digital Key standard.

The press release states:

“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.”

New Features

The Car Connectivity Consortium is reportedly responsible for standardizing the new Digital Key feature between cars and connected devices. The company recently announced:

“The Digital Key Release 3.0 specification will enhance Digital Key Release 2.0 by adding passive, location-aware keyless access. Rather than having to pull their mobile devices out to access a car, consumers will be able to leave their mobile device in their bag or pocket when accessing and/or starting their vehicle. Passive access is not only vastly more convenient and a better overall user experience, it also allows vehicles to offer new location-aware features.

“To support these new features, the CCC is developing a specification based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in combination with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) to enable passive keyless access and to allow secure and accurate positioning.”

At our Cincinnati auto garage, we love BMWs, but we also love tech. It makes life so much easier. The day may soon be a reality where you don’t have to worry where you left your car keys — you just have to call your phone. We do so many things with our phones already — email, Internet, FaceTime with Grandma. Why not open and start our BMW too? We’re ready. Bring it on!

Auto Repair 101: What to Do If You Break Down

Car break down? This can be a scary situation, but it’s important not to panic. First, find a safe place to stop. If you are on the highway, the right side median works best. Make sure you are far enough away from the road. If you are in traffic, do your best to move the car out of traffic, even pushing the car if you have too, assuming the traffic is not too fast moving. But if you can’t make it off a highway, stay put. Traffic will pile up, but staying inside the car is safer than getting out. The exception to this is if you see smoke. This could be an indication your car is on fire. As soon as you can, call a tow truck. Your insurance company may be able to help or offer suggestions. They can take it to your preferred auto repair option in Cincinnati.