BMW is ushering a new and more secure generation of its current Digital Key technology, slated to arrive later this year. The new generation of the smartphone-enabled digital key technology will increase usability and versatility. Currently, it is possible to lock and unlock you BMW vehicle, start the engine or turn it off and even share your key with trusted friends via the BMW Connected smartphone app.

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Now, BMW Group, as leader of the Car Connectvity Consortium (CCC), aims to further expand the digital access technology and ensure full functionality between different car manufacturers and across multiple devices. Latest advancements in interconnectedness and secure digitalization are employed to achieve this scope.

Olaf Müller, head of Development Digital Access Systems at the BMW Group, reiterates on the stringent need to enhance the current digital key access: “Our customers want cross-vendor interoperability. Standardization is the only way to achieve this; proprietary solutions are no longer beneficial.”

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The CCC has already been joined by several automotive constructor, so the further development of the future digital key technology will gain more traction and momentum, as it opens the gate to a very attractive, pan-industrial solution, which works suitably on a variety of digital devices such as smartphone, tablets, intelligent watches and other wearables.

Video: Here’s How the BMW Digital Key Works

For the second generation of its Digital Key (the release number 2.0), BMW will use the latest NFC-based technology together with a unique technical feature. The new virtual key will use a security chip which works separately from the smartphone operating system. This has the competitive advantage to enable vehicle access in circumstances in which currently it is not possible. For example, if your smartphone battery is highly discharged, then the new digital key will help you open the car thanks to the additional security chip.

The new generation of the BMW Digital Key will also employ the high-end, Ultra Wide Band (UWB) 3.0 technology which decisively increases anti-theft protection and ensures precise localization between the smartphone and the vehicle.

Moreso, you will no longer need to position your smartphone in the close vicinity of the door handle. Opening the car will work simply by approaching the vehicle and keeping your digital device in your pocket.