NFC digital car keys go live for Android users

Woman using Android  NFC digital car key to open BMW
SECURE: Drivers can now lock, unlock and start their car using an NFC digital key on their Android phone

Android users with a Samsung Galaxy 21 or Google Pixel 6 series smartphone can now lock, unlock and start compatible vehicles using an NFC digital car key stored on their mobile device.

BMW is the first vehicle manufacturer to add support for the feature, enabling owners to unlock their vehicle by holding their smartphone next to the door handle and start the engine by placing their phone in the wireless charging compartment.

“To ensure maximum ease and security, the BMW Digital Key is stored on the secure element of the smartphone,” BMW says

“It can be easily configured via My BMW app and is then available as an option for almost all BMW models. In the next release, it will be possible to pass the key on to five friends.

“The functionalities of the BMW Digital Key Plus based on ultra wideband (UWB) will also be introduced for Android smartphones in a future release.”

At launch, BMW Digital Keys are available for users of compatible Android smartphones in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, USA, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Canada.

Google announced that it was adding support for both NFC and UWB digital keys with its Android 12 update and was working with “BMW and others to bring this to their upcoming cars” in May, while Samsung revealed that its Galaxy 21 series smartphones would support digital car keys in January.

BMW launched its NFC Digital Key option for iPhone and Smartwatch users with its 2021 BMW 5 series and added support for UWB for Apple users in January.

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