You may now share keys across different phone platforms for the first time.
Holding an iPhone or Apple Watch next to the driver's side door enables users to unlock and start a vehicle thanks to a digital car key function that Apple released in 2020. Only BMW, Kia, and Genesis presently offer automobiles that are compatible, but other automakers are soon anticipated to offer the capability. As a reminder, on iOS, car keys are kept in the Wallet app, just like a credit card.
Additionally, Google has made its Digital Car Key function available on a few Android 12 phones, enabling owners to start and automatically unlock impacted automobiles while still holding the phone in their pocket. Up until now, sharing keys was not possible, but Google recently altered that.
To share your digital car keys with others, you are no longer required to have the same phone OS. Google has enabled cross-platform swaps in an early form on Pixel devices by adding car key sharing. You can use messaging apps like Mail, Messages, and WhatsApp to send keys saved in Wallet to a Pixel if you're using an iPhone running iOS 16.1. Through the Android wallet app, Pixel users may share access to their cars.
Google wants to make sharing available on more devices running Android 12 or later. Only a small number of automakers, including BMW and Hyundai brands like Genesis and Kia, presently offer digital car keys. Some vehicles might ask you to start the procedure with a physical key or code, while others might ask you to do so through the infotainment screen.
Note that this is different from the remote or proximity-based lock controls you receive from firms like Tesla because it uses your phone like a real key that you need to approach the door to use. You can unlock your car with a phone that has ultra-wideband, such as many latest iPhones and larger Galaxy S21/S22 models, without taking it out of your pocket or using a smartwatch.
A publicly accessible standard for distributing digital auto keys is something that businesses from all around the industry, including Apple and Google, are working to create. The appeal is obvious despite the lack of a timetable for when this might occur. No matter what phone your friend uses, you can lend them your car for the weekend without giving them a fob.
This might be quite important as people are less likely to own cars and are more likely to borrow them than to rent them or utilize ridesharing services.