An Android smartphone will soon be able to unlock and start the car with a digital key. The latest version of the Android 12 operating system will be able to replace the standard key in compatible cars.
Select 2021 BMW models will include this technology. Going forward, other car manufacturers will follow suit. This technology takes the smartphone one step closer to becoming the only hardware it needs.
The digital key works in two ways. Owners can lock and unlock their vehicles without even looking at the screen. This method uses ultra wideband (UWB) technology. According to TechCrunch, the technology uses this technology to transmit a radio signal that can be picked up by a mobile device, recognizing which direction it is heading.
Many automakers have already released dedicated apps, while Android 12 does not require downloading any app for a new digital key.
The second method will use Near Field Communication (NFC). This technology will allow cars to be unlocked with one touch of the phone to the door handle. Car owners will be able to share access with friends or family members through their personal phones.
Google’s ad follows in the footsteps of Apple, which has already given its users access to a similar digital key via iPhone and Apple Watch.
Google said the technology will be available on select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy models later this year. Google, Apple and Samsung are part of the Car Connectivity Consortium. It also includes the concerns BMW, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Volkswagen.