BMW rolls out UWB digital car keys for Android devices

BMW car with inset of a UWB digital car key on an Android device
PASSIVE ENTRY: Drivers do not need to take their mobile out of their pocket to unlock or lock theIr car

Android users with a Samsung Galaxy 23+ or Google Pixel 7 Pro smartphone can now lock, unlock and start compatible BMW vehicles using the car manufacturer’s ultra wideband (UWB) Digital Car Key Plus without needing to take their mobile device out of their pocket or bag.

The digital key is also available for use on Google Pixel Pro 6 devices running Android 13.1 and on selected older Samsung devices running Android 13.1 in territories with Samsung Wallet, including Bahrain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE and the UK, BMW says.

BMW launched the Digital Car Key Plus for iPhone and Apple Watch users in June 2021 and has now made it available for Android users with vehicles produced since November 2022 that support the feature.

“A smartphone with Digital Key Plus completely replaces the vehicle key with extended functionality made possible using ultra wideband technology (UWB),” BMW explains.

“This is a digital radio technology for close range with high bandwidth, which features very precise localisation with the maximum possible security. The precision of UWB also ensures that the risk of relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, is virtually eliminated.

“The vehicle reacts automatically when approached or receded in the same way as a classic vehicle key with comfort access functionality.

“The orchestrated light play of the front and rear lights in conjunction with the light carpet also functions as with the physical key, depending on the vehicle equipment.”

BMW launched its NFC Digital Car Key for Android users in December 2021 when it also announced it would be introducing the UWB Digital Key Plus for Android smartphones “in a future release”.

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