What's a digital car key and how to use it?
A digital car key allows you to lock, unlock, and even start your car with your smartphone or a similar device, without the use of a physical key. Apart from being a convenient feature, it is also highly secure. Both Google and Apple now offer digital car key feature on some of their smartphones and other compatible devices. Here's everything you need to know.
How does the digital car key work?
Digital car key works on a short-range wireless technology called Near-field Communication (NFC) which functions at a distance of 4cm or lesser. The NFC reader, typically placed in the car's door handle, will pick up the signal from your phone and automatically unlock the car. Apple's Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology makes it possible to unlock the car without having to take out your phone.
Apple iPhone and Watch models support digital car key feature
Digital car key for Android works on the Pixel 6 series and up, Samsung Galaxy S21+ and newer models, and select handsets that run Android 12/13. On the other hand, the compatible Apple devices are iPhone XS or later, iPhone SE (2nd generation) with the latest iOS version, Apple Watch Series 5 or later, or Apple Watch SE with the latest watchOS update.
Which car models offer support for digital keys?
Currently, digital car keys are supported by BMW car models from 2021 and Kia's 2022 models of Niro, Genesis G90, and Genesis GV60. Google, with Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), will extend this feature to other manufacturers such as General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.
How to add car key on your iPhone or Watch?
Ensure that your car is linked to the account provided by the manufacturer. Open the car manufacturer's app and follow the onscreen instructions to set up a key. Once you are redirected to the Wallet app, tap 'Continue.' When prompted, place your iPhone on the key reader. You can also add a car key to your Apple Watch. Head to Wallet >Apple Pay >Add.
How to set up digital car key on Android?
In order to pair your Android phone to your car, head to the official mail sent by the car manufacturer. Tap on 'Add to Android' >Set up your digital key >Agree & Continue. Enter your name and phone model (cannot be changed later). Now, place your phone on your car key reader and wait for it to pair.