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BMW owners will be able to unlock vehicles without touching their iPhone

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BMW has announced an updated version of BMW Digital Key for iPhone. With the Digital Key Plus, drivers will be able to unlock and start the car without taking their phone out of their pocket or bag.

The automaker is leveraging the ultra-wideband (UWB) capabilities of the U1 chip that Apple integrated into the iPhone 11. The high-bandwidth short-range radio supports features that require precise location and high security, such as driver authentication and automatic door unlocking. As BMW points out, it is not possible with UWB to conduct relay attacks that jam or intercept the radio signal.

BMW did not say exactly when the Digital Key Plus will arrive. The first car to support it will be the iX electric SUV, which is not expected to go on sale until the end of this year. BMW and Apple are partnering with the Car Connectivity Consortium to develop an open standard for UWB-enabled digital keys so other automakers can support the technology as well.

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