US-spec BMW iX models are getting some major updates this month. After the introduction of the Personal eSIM for the iX and i4, the new electric vehicles are also receiving the BMW Digital Key Plus feature. The latest generation of the smartphone-based BMW Digital Key uses secure ultra-wideband technology. This is a short-range, high-bandwidth digital radio technology that is characterized by an exceptionally precise localization with the greatest possible security. UWB’s precision also ensures that relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, are not possible.

BMW Digital Key Plus

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The BMW Digital Key Plus will allow customers to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, and start their vehicles without having to take the phone out of their pocket or bag. With Digital Key Plus, the owner can set up a master key within the My BMW app on their phone, which will enable customers using iPhone to grant vehicle access to up to five other users. Parents will then be able to manage young drivers with vehicle access controls, which can restrict top speed, engine power, and maximum radio volume and ensure that the Dynamic Stability Control and Intelligent Safety features on vehicles so equipped cannot be deactivated.

Just like with the previous iteration, 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.

eDrive Zones

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European customers have been enjoying the eDrive Zones since 2020. But the new digital service is now coming to United States as well. The new feature caters to BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles by allowing the cars to switch to fully-electric driving mode automatically (provided the battery is sufficiently charged). The switch is triggered by geofencing technology and GPS, and the driver is advised of entry into a zero-emissions zone and the switch to eDrive via the vehicle’s iDrive screen. BMW eDrive Zones are presented in the main navigation map and in a preview map in the eDrive Zone app menu. The feature is being piloted in three cities in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. BMW eDrive Zones will be automatically activated in compatible vehicles.