BMW customers can now use Samsung or Google smartphones with Android operating systems to unlock and lock their vehicles, or to start the engine without touching their phone, using the OEM’s Digital Key Plus.
Available for Apple devices since 2021, Digital Key Plus has now been upgraded and expanded to cover Android users. When a customer approaches their vehicle, it reacts automatically, signaling lights and other functions depending on the car’s equipment, as the vehicle would with a classic key.
Digital Key Plus completely replaces the conventional vehicle key by using ultra-wideband technology (UWB). The digital radio technology is designed for close range, has a high bandwidth, and also features very precise localization with maximum security. The accuracy of UWB ensures that the risk of attacks on the radio signal – if jammed or intercepted – are almost entirely eliminated.
The system was developed in collaboration with Google to develop the corresponding specification with partners and establish it as a global standard for the automotive industry via the Car Connectivity Consortium.
In addition to Apple and Android users, the BMW Group has set itself the target of being able to offer digital vehicle access to all of its customers, regardless of the smartphone operating system. During the next stage of development, BMW will focus on providing the full range of comfort access functions on Android devices.
The new Android compatibility is available in Digital Key Plus-capable vehicles produced from November 2022. A future remote software upgrade will expand the function to Digital Key Plus-capable vehicles produced before November 2022.