At WWDC 2020, Apple announced its CarKey feature, which allows car owners to unlock their cars using the U1 chip on select iPhones and Apple Watch smartwatches. Unfortunately, this feature was implemented very slowly, as it is currently only available in certain BMW car models. Now the situation looks set to change. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Apple CarKey feature is coming to Hyundai vehicles and the Genesis range: “Remember CarKey, the feature announced by Apple a year and a half ago that lets you unlock and start your car from the Wallet app on your iPhone? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know it, as Apple hasn’t talked about it in a while and it only works on some BMW models. I was told this would change soon. According to the results of the code a few months ago in iOS 15, I have heard that the next vehicles to receive support for this feature will be Hyundai and Genesis models. I was told that the feature will appear by the summer ”.
Gurman notes that this partnership with CarKey came as a surprise given the strange relationship between Apple and Hyundai given the Korean automaker’s AppleCar production rumors about a year ago. At the beginning of last year, in fact, there were many reports that an agreement was imminent between Hyundai and Apple for the production of Apple Cars. But a month later, Bloomberg reported that Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia Motors had denied that they were in talks with Apple to produce a self-driving car.
Apple CarKey, here’s how it will work on the new Hyundai
Apple CarKey, in practice, allows you to replace the physical key of a car with an iPhone. As Apple demonstrated during the WWDC 2020 keynote, you simply need to bring your iPhone close to the car door handle to unlock it, using NFC technology. Once inside the car, placing the iPhone in the designated area can also start the car.
If you have an iPhone 11 or later, you don’t even need to take it out of your pocket to unlock the doors or start the car thanks to the U1 chip. This is because Apple CarKey doesn’t require authentication by default, so it can work with a simple tap. Apple ensures that the process is secure and relies on a unique token shared between the iPhone and the car. iOS uses location and Apple ID information to prevent fraud. However, if the “express” mode is not considered totally safe, you can disable it and request authentication via Face ID or Touch ID to unlock and start the car. The Apple CarKey function can also be added to the Apple Watch, making it even easier to use. And even if the iPhone battery is low, CarKey will still work for about 5 hours thanks to the power reserve mode also present on all Apple Watches. This function, it is good to remember, in particular allows you to find a lost or stolen iPhone even if it is turned off.