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Apple’s digital car key tech is reportedly coming to Hyundai vehicles soon

Apple’s digital car key tech is reportedly coming to Hyundai vehicles soon
Photo Credit: Pixabay
18 Jan, 2022
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Apple’s digital car key feature, called CarKey, is reportedly set to be introduced to Hyundai’s cars in the coming weeks. According to a Bloomberg report, the CarKey feature will soon be seen in Hyundai’s Genesis line of cars – therefore expanding beyond the select range of BMW vehicles that they were introduced in. However, the report does not specify if Hyundai’s implementation of the Apple CarKey API (application programming interface) would see them use NFC (near-field communication), or Apple’s UWB (ultra wideband) chips that are embedded in iPhone 11 and newer generation devices.

In January 2021, BMW announced its Digital Key Plus – a handsfree, smartphone-based remote car operation platform that uses Apple’s UWB technology to let users unlock, start and operate the BMW iX electric SUV. Apple first announced its digital car key platform at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2020, which was later rolled out to all compatible iPhones through the iOS 13.6 software update.

NFC-based digital car keys require users to own a smartphone that has NFC integrated in that, for which users are required to physically tap their phones on a car to unlock or use them. In terms of handsfree operation, Tesla has so far used a pre-authenticated, Bluetooth-based technology that lets users unlock and use their cars without needing to bring their phones out.

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Apple’s UWB-based car operation technology, meanwhile, is believed to offer the same handsfree benefits as Tesla’s system – while being safer.

The Hyundai Group already offers a remote car operation app on Android and iOS, for both Hyundai and Genesis branded cars, through two different apps – Hyundai BlueLink and Genesis Intelligent Assistant. Going forward, it remains to be seen if these apps are discontinued for Apple’s proprietary solution – or some sort of an integrated operation is established by the company.

At the moment, there is no specified timeline for the solution, although Bloomberg says that an announcement from Hyundai on the matter could be expected some time soon.

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