BMW iX to get Digital Key Plus feature with Ultra-Wideband technology

BMW iX to get Digital Key Plus feature with Ultra-Wideband technology”

BMW announced this week that its new Digital Key Plus which uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology will launch with the upcoming BMW iX for the Apple iPhone. The feature relies on ultra wideband (UWB) which has been included in Apple's flagship iPhones since the iPhone 11 thanks to the U1 chip. However this method is less secure and can be hacked, so BMW's Digital Key Plus has advantages.

Currently, the digital vehicle key tech used by BMW and Apple works on the NFC tech for which you need to have yourApple Watch or iPhone near the auto tag for it to function.

Apple already had an advanced auto key technology but with the upgraded version namely Digital Key Plus, you will not need to take out your phones to access the feature.

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UWB is a short-range, high-bandwidth digital radio technology that is characterized by an exceptionally precise localization with the greatest possible security.

Once UWB becomes commercially more available, then we could have more smartphones and vehicles to support digital keys, and providing an additional layer of protection when the traditional key is lost. As with the vanilla Digital Key, credentials are saved in Apple's Wallet app. As BMW notes, with UWB, it's impossible to carry out relay attacks, which jam or intercept a radio signal. The CCC is a cross-industry organization advancing global technologies for smartphone-to-car connectivity solutions.

Apple built support for digital vehicle keys into iOS with version 13.6 a year ago, following its announcement at WWDC 2020. BMW says the feature will first launch in its new iX electric vehicle, slated to launch in Europe in late 2021 and in North America in early 2022. The enhancement marks a notable improvement over BMW's current Digital Key system.

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