You Could Be Using Your iPhone To Unlock Your Car Soon Thanks To New Ultra Wideband Spec Changes

You can already unlock your car using an iPhone if you tap the door with it, but how cool would it be if you could unlock it without ever taking your iPhone out of your pocket?

That’s the future we have in store for us after changes to the Digital Key Release 3.0 specification added support for ultra wideband and Bluetooth LE.

The new specification changes were announced today by the Car Connectivity Consortium and means that the U1 chip found in iPhone 11 and newer devices could potentially be used to unlock a car without having to be touching it.

The new updated specification also includes security improvements, too.

The latest Release addresses security and usability by authenticating the Digital Key between a vehicle and the mobile device over Bluetooth Low Energy. Mobile devices create and store the Digital Keys in a Secure Element that provides the highest level of protection against hardware or software-based attacks. UWB offers secure and accurate distance measurement allowing cars to locate authenticated mobile devices so that Release 3.0 not only prevents attacks but also adds a new level of convenience when entering, interacting and starting the car.

You’ll no doubt need to buy a new car for all of this to work, of course. Apple is already adding support for using an iPhone and Apple Watch to unlock cars via the Car Key functionality — but you’ll need a BMW for it to work so far.

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