Hyundai Motor Group Develops Smartphone Based Digital Key Press PhotoSource: Hyundai

What you need to know

  • Hyundai will bring its digital car key to iPhone this year.
  • The feature is currently only available to Samsung and LG Android users, but a release date is unclear.

A new report says Hyundai will bring its digital car key to iPhone users this year.

From Business Korea:

Hyundai Motor Group is planning to unveil its digital key for iPhone users within this year. Its digital key is currently limited to Samsung and LG Android smartphones.

The group recently obtained an API for digital key realization from Apple. The API is a computer command system for OS-app connection and used for programming. Sharing of Apple's APIs is restricted in principle whereas Google's policies include open API.

Announced at WWDC, Apple's CarKey works through iOS using the NFC chip in iPhone and Apple Watch, it also allows for the sharing of keys through iMessage with friends and family. The biggest adopter so far is BMW, with nearly its entire lineup of cars made after July 1 2020 compatible with CarKey.

The news follows hot on the heels of a BMW announcement stating it was introducing a new 'Digital Key Plus' that works with the iPhone's U1 chip and UWB rather than NFC. It is not clear whether the Hyundai announcement pertains to this new tech or the established NFC version. BMW says the new 'plus' variant will be made available to more manufacturers, however, Hyundai's own digital key works through NFC currently, as users have the option to use their phone, a key, or a smart card to unlock their card. Hyundai has been gradually implementing the digital key in its own models since 2019, however, the feature has only been available to LG and Samsung users on Android. There is no timeframe specified for the launch of the feature on iPhone.