Digital Key 3.0 support for Bluetooth LE and Ultra Wideband has been finalized, and members of the Car Connectivity Consortium, including Apple will be able to make use of the technology.
Apple introduced the car key feature last year, allowing car owners to unlock or start a car key-compatible vehicle using just their Apple Watch or iPhone. This feature is currently powered by Digital Key 2.0, but with the update users can now unlock their vehicles without even having to take their iPhones out of their bag or pocket.
The new Ultra Wideband version will require U1 chips in iPhone 12 and 11 models.
Digital Key 3.0 will also feature improved security due to the Ultra Wideband’s precise location finding, as well as its built-in protection versus relay attacks. NFC ensures backward compatibility and lets users unlock their cars even when their iPhone is shut off for not more than 5 hours.
The new car key version doesn’t have a launch date yet, but might be introduced early 2022.