As part of the iOS 14 announcement during Apple’s WWDC 2020 livestream, the company also talked about CarPlay. You have the usual stuff like new CarPlay apps, and new wallpapers. But most interestingly the company also talks about car keys, and the way the iPhone can replace them.
The company demonstrated this with the BMW 5-Series 2021. And from it, Apple showed that an iPhone running iOS 14 can essentially take over all the functions of a remote keyless system key. With this, you can tap your iPhone on the door handle of a car that supports this, and it unlocks using NFC. Apple also says this digital key can be deactivated remotely using iCloud if you lose your iPhone.
More interestingly, you can also duplicate your digital key and send it to others using iMessage. And for each key you share, you can create separate profiles for their drivers. And with these, you can control the level of access each person gets.
Interestingly, Apple is not restricting this feature to just iOS 14, and is also making it available to iPhones running iOS 13. The company is also working to improve the feature, so that it uses Ultra Wideband tech. This will then allow you to keep your iPhone in your pocket or bag, and still be able to unlock your phone. The company expects this to be available next year.