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Text containing details about the CarKey feature has recently been discovered in both iOS 13.5.1 and iOS 13.6 beta versions. This discovery strongly suggests that Apple is preparing to release this feature in the near future.

The debut of CarKey took place in the source code of iOS 13.4. This innovative feature empowers users to transform their iPhone or Apple Watch into a digital key for their vehicle. By making use of an NFC connection, an iPhone or Apple Watch can efficiently perform functions like locking, unlocking, and even starting the car.

Although we have an understanding of how CarKey is utilized based on iOS’s undisclosed usage policy, the specific release date for this feature remains uncertain.

To add a device as a key to the Wallet application, users can either access the vehicle manufacturer’s application or enter the sync code directly into Wallet. Once added, these keys will be stored alongside credit cards and other items in the Wallet.

iPhones and Apple Watches will be able to be used to lock, open doors, and even start cars
iPhones and Apple Watches will be able to be used to lock, open doors, and even start cars

“Apple stated that if your device is successful, it will send a confirmation code to Apple. This code is used by Apple to verify your Apple account information, device, and location in order to safeguard against fraud and tampering.”

In addition, Apple mentioned that users have the option to share their digital car key with others simply by tapping the invite button. Furthermore, users can customize the level of security they wish to grant other individuals. Apple reiterates that the collection of users’ personal data or CarKey data is not part of their practices.

Apple plans to collaborate with car manufacturers to offer CarKey as an optional feature for customers, similar to CarPlay. Leaked source code from iOS 14 reveals that BMW could be among the initial brands to integrate support for CarKey.

CarKey will leverage secure biometric authentication methods like Face ID and Touch ID to provide a high level of safety. Nevertheless, it also incorporates an optional “Express Mode” that permits users to conveniently utilize CarKey without requiring authentication.

CarKey is expected to be released during the WWDC 2020 event scheduled for June 22.