BMW adds UWB to digital car keys

BMW iX electric car with UWB digital car key
NFC DIGITAL KEY: Drivers will be able to use Apple CarKey to access BMW’s iX series electric cars

Apple iPhone users who purchase a BMW iX electric car will be able to lock, unlock and start the vehicle without taking their smartphone out of their bag or pocket using ultra wideband (UWB) functionality built into an upgraded version of the vehicle manufacturer’s Digital Key.

BMW’s Digital Key Plus uses the UWB technology on the U1 chip incorporated into Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and Apple Smartwatch 6 devices to enable “exceptionally precise localisation with the greatest possible security,” the car maker says.

“UWB’s precision also ensures that relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, are not possible.

“Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to establish the Digital Key specification 3.0 for UWB, providing a global standard for the automotive industry.”

BMW launched its NFC Digital Key option, which uses Apple’s CarKey feature, to allow drivers to unlock and start their car with a tap of their iPhone, with its 2021 BMW 5 series.

Apple revealed plans to add support for UWB technology to its CarKey feature when it unveiled the NFC-enabled version in June 2020.

The BMW iX electric car is due to be launched towards the end of 2021.

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