If you own a recent Tesla, like the Model 3, chances are you’ve been enjoying the key virtual lifestyle for some time. Now Apple wants to bring it into the mainstream, by baking the car’s virtual keys (but not the CarKeys) in– and even iOS 13 – with BMW as the first partner.
Virtual car keys are exactly what they seem: digital keys that allow you to unlock and unlock your car simply by using the NFC chip on recent iPhones. No more searching for keys at the bottom of your bag or cargo shorts; just grab your phone and voila. But, most impressively, the virtual keys in your Apple Wallet will allow you to create virtual keys quickly and easily and send them through iMessage, which means that you can grant permissions to your children, parents or friends without having to obtain a new key cut, or replaced.
The technology is based on the iPhone, which Apple says will eventually allow all manufacturers to safely and reliably detect the phone’s proximity and position, even if it’s buried in their purse. But, for now, it will only be in the new , with other manufacturers that will come next year. Since it is part of the It shouldn’t take long to spread.
Again, this is functionality similar to what Tesla currently offers with the Model 3, and what BMW currently offers with. So it is not exactly the first time, but it is something we are very happy to see.