It’s been almost a year since Apple added a ‘car key’ feature to the iPhone. Interested Apple users can now use their iPhones to launch their cars.
On Tuesday, Google announced at the Google I/O conference that it would also provide a car key function later this year. The Android 12 system adds this feature, and it can turn an Android smartphone into a car key. However, it looks like this feature will initially only be available for Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices.
Google is slow to update the car key feature for mobile phones, but automakers’ progress in this feature is also plodding. Google mentioned only one car brand it works with – BMW. In addition, BMW recently announced a partnership with Samsung earlier this year. According to reports, BMW has promised to support only digital car keys; there is no compatible model yet.
There are two leading solutions to implement the function of changing the car key on a mobile phone. Solutions are UWB (ultra-wideband technology) and NFC (short-range technology). Apple’s latest generations of iPhones and the latest Apple Watch Series 6 watches support UWB technology. It allows the phone to become a car key and will enable users to find their car in a crowded parking lot.
More Android Smartphones To Support Car Key
It is assumed that the next-generation Google Pixel phones will also support UWB technology. However, given the compatibility with the following devices, Apple and Google mobile phones have built-in NFC chips. It means that they can also support NFC solutions by turning the smartphone into a machine key.
BMW may not be the only carmaker interested in the potential of UWB. Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are also members of the UWB Alliance. In addition, Hyundai Motor is also a member of the Fira Alliance, which specializes in promoting UWB. In addition, Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, BMW, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Volkswagen are CCC members (Car Connectivity Consortium).
No matter which technical solution is ultimately chosen by the car manufacturer, the institutions and manufacturers involved in this standard will allow users to use the car key function in smartphones of different brands. Samsung mentioned this at the Galaxy S21 conference earlier this year. Google also said it would release more information on the technical standards adopted for the mobile phone car function later this year.