Apple digital key support reportedly coming to Hyundai and BYD cars

Person unlocking car using a phone
Person unlocking car using a phone (Image credit: Hyundai)

What you need to know

  • Hyundai and BYD look set to be the next companies getting support for digital car keys.
  • Strings for both carmakers have been found in a configuration file.

Apple is reportedly readying support for digital keys that will unlock Hyindai and BYD vehicles, just as people can already do with other brands including Kia and Genesis — two companies with close ties to at least one of the two carmakers.

MacRumors reports that new strings in an Apple Pay configuration file show support for Hyundai and BYD is coming. The same feature is already available for Genesis and Kia cars — the former is the luxury brand owned by Hyundai while the latter has close ties to the company. While many may not be familiar with KYD, the Chinese carmaker has been trying to expand beyond its borders of late.

It should be noted that support for Genesis cars was outed via a similar configuration change last year. adding credence to this new report.

Apple car key support allows people to lock, unlock, and start their vehicles using nothing more than their iPhone or Apple Watch — and thanks to added support in iOS 15, everything can happen automatically without the need to touch anything. Walking up to a car is enough to unlock it thanks to Ultra Wideband support.

Genesis confirmed that it was adding digital car key support to some vehicles already, while Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggested both firms would be added to the list of supported vehicles by the summer.

Support for unlocking and locking of cars could be the best iPhone and Apple Watch feature yet, especially for those of us who have a history of walking off and forgetting to lock our vehicles!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.