Google on Tuesday during it’s annual developer conference announced Android’s support for car key functionality later on this year probably when the stable version of the Android 12 OS is released.
With this new feature, you can turn your Android smartphone into a car key just like that but there are reports that Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones are the first to have a taste of this new addition.
This feature was added to the iOS back in 2020 and one might assume Google came late to the scene but it’s never too late to make an impact in the vast Android market.
The search tech giant revealed that it will work with German automaker BWM while the latter recently announced it was cooperating with South Korean smartphone maker Samsung earlier this year.
BMW however only promised support for digital car keys but didn’t state which of its models will be supported.
The technology might seem complicated to think of and there have been suggestions that the tech giants might approach this using two of the popular systems: Ultra Wideband Technology (UWB) or Near Field Communication (NFC).
Apple’s current flagship smartwatch – Watch Series 6 and the iPhone 12 series uses the UWB technology which help in turning the devices into a car key but also allow users to find their car in a crowded parking lot.
Multiple supports are coming
Even though the initial number of devices that will support this feature will be limited, the next-generation/update to this technology will include numerous smartphones from different OEMs across board.
So whether the approach is via UWB or NFC, the fact that majority of high-end smartphones nowadays have support for both technology means that it will be much easier to port in.
Aside BMW, there have been reports that Korean automaker Kia and parent company Hyundai and a host of other companies are part of the UWB Alliance.
In addition, Hyundai Motor is also a member of the FiRa Alliance, which specializes in promoting UWB. Furthermore, Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, BMW, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen are all members of CCC (Car Connectivity Consortium).
The association of all these high tech companies will help make it easy for the technology to be brought onboard to users’ smartphones with ease.
During the Galaxy S21 release, Samsung announced that it will offer support for the car key system and Google said it will announce more information about the technical standards which will be adopted for the mobile phones car key feature later on this year.