German car maker BMW says it will continue with the development and popularisation of its digital key feature.
In line with this goal, the group says it will introduce the Digital Key Plus, which allows BMW drivers to unlock and start their vehicles without taking their iPhones out of their bags or pockets. (Drivers previously had to hold the phone to the door handle to unlock the vehicle).
This latest incarnation of the service is based on ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, the technology found on the U1 chip of the iPhone.
“This is a short-range, high-bandwidth digital radio technology that is characterised by an exceptionally precise localisation, with the greatest possible security,” explains BMW.
“UWB’s precision also ensures that relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, are not possible.
“Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium to establish the Digital Key specification 3.0 for UWB, providing a global standard for the automotive industry.”
The BMW Digital Key Plus feature will be first launched with the all-electric BMW iX.
BMW Group South Africa says it is expecting the iX on local shores in 2022, possibly in the second or third quarter.
The iX is a compact sports-utility vehicle, with a range of more than 480 km, depending on driving habits and use.