P90411220 Highres The Bmw Digital KeySource: BMW

What you need to know

  • BMW has unveiled a new Digital Key Plus feature.
  • It will debut in its brand new all-electric BMW iX.
  • It will use UWB to unlock your car from a distance rather than NFC.

BMW has announced a new upgraded version of its Digital Key feature that will use UWB in the iPhone to unlock its new BMW iX.

In a press release BMW stated:

As one of the pioneers in the use of a smartphone as a digital vehicle key since 2018, BMW is pressing ahead with the development and popularisation of its BMW Digital Key feature, which is available to iPhone users today. In line with this goal, the premium car manufacturer will introduce the BMW Digital Key Plus, a convenient and secure way to unlock and start your car without taking your iPhone out of your bag or pocket. This latest incarnation of the service is based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology, the technology found on the U1 chip of iPhone. The BMW Digital Key Plus feature will be first launched with the all-electric BMW iX for iPhone.

Car Keys as previously used by Apple and BMW have worked with NFC to unlock your car door. Now, Digital Key Plus will unlock the potential of UWB and the U1 chip in the iPhone to unlock your car. It's also more secure, BMW says UWB's precision means relay attacks, jamming or intercepting a signal, are a thing of the past. BMW says it was worked closely with Apple and the Car Connectivity Consortium "to establish the Digital Key specification 3.0 for UWB", this is great news, as it means that beyond the new iX, more cars and manufacturers will be able to take advantage of this in future.