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Apple update opens door for iPhone unlocking in Hyundai, BYD cars

More vehicles could soon offer phone-based unlocking using Apple CarKey, according to reports from the USA.


Hyundai and BYD look set to join the likes of BMW, Genesis, and Kia in supporting iPhone-based CarKey unlocking.

MacRumors reports Apple has added support for Hyundai and BYD to its Apple Pay configuration file, which means owners may soon be able to save or share a car key using their iPhone.

BMW, Genesis, and Kia cars already have listings in the configuration file mentioned by MacRumours. Tesla offers its own phone-based unlocking system.

Vehicles which support Apple Wallet unlocking allow their owners to walk up to the car with their phone in their pockets and simply pull the door handle like a regular ‘keyless’ fob, thanks to a recent update.

Earlier versions of the CarKey system forced owners to take their iPhone from their pocket and tap it, credit card style, on the door handle.

Owners are also able to grant friends or family members access to the car for a set period of time.

Provided the person you want to grant access has a compatible phone, they’re able to unlock and drive the car without access to a physical key.

The digital key can be shared with up to five people. The owner can set access restrictions, as well as limits for top speed, power, and radio volume for each of the keys – so if the kids borrow the car, you can keep them in check.

Even if it shuts down because of a flat battery, the phone’s reserve power supply allows users to use the digital key for five more hours.

CarKey should work on iPhone models newer than the XR and XS, as well as Apple Watch Series 5 and above.

It’s understood CarKey is Apple’s implementation of the Digital Key Release 2.0 standard by the Car Connectivity Consortium, so it’s highly likely other carmakers will begin offering virtual key-compatible vehicles in the near future.

Carmakers part of the consortium include Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Rivian, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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