The BMW Digital Key allows the use of an iPhone as a fully digital car key, thanks to the Apple Wallet.
At the last Apple Global Developer Conference (WWDC 2020), BMW was announced that it will be the first automaker to allow customers to use an iPhone as a dematerialized car key, allowing them to open, lock and to start a BMW without holding the physical key.
Called BMW Digital Key, this new functionality is configurable via the BMW Connected app for iOS, and is available in 45 countries on the various vehicles of the German manufacturer: BMW Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5 , X6, X7 and Z4, manufactured after July 1, 2020. Compatible models are the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, SE (2nd generation), as well as the Apple Watch Series 5 , on iOS 13.6 and WatchOS 6.2.8.
In practice, once the BMW Digital Key is installed in the Apple Wallet app, such as a payment card or a loyalty card, all you have to do is present the iPhone near the door handle to unlock it. Once inside, the iPhone must be placed in the smartphone storage compartment in order to start the car with the Start / Stop button. Access protection to the BMW Digital Key on the iPhone can be done by Face ID, Touch ID or unlock code, and an Apple Watch paired with an iPhone can also be used as the Digital Key.
Facilitate car sharing and parental control
The dematerialization of the car key also makes it easier to share it: in fact, it is possible to share your BMW Digital Key with a maximum of 5 people, via a simple invitation sent by iMessage. At any time, the car owner can revoke this authorization, while parents concerned about their young drivers can configure the car parameters associated with the Digital Key, in order to limit the maximum speed, engine power, or even the maximum volume of the multimedia system.
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