If you happen to be an owner of one of the very few cars on the market with Car Key support, you are now able to share that car key credential with non-iPhone users for the first time.
Apple is working with the IETF and industry members to standardize cross-platform car key sharing. The first implementation of this support has landed today for Google Pixel owners. Google is working on rolling out support for all Android 12+ devices soon.
The Car Key feature allows Apple Wallet to treat unlocking your car in the same manner as you can conduct contactless payments with Apple Pay: Walk up to your car and then present your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock it.
You can share car keys by using the Share button inside the Wallet app. You could previously send the key to other iPhone users. On iOS 16.1 or later, the Wallet app generates keys that also work with other supporting platforms, most notably Android users.
Share using the system share sheet with your favorite app like Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp. You can secure the process using an optional one-time code.
At any later time, you can revoke access to a shared car key. Simply open the Wallet app, select your car key and tap on the People icon to manage the current list of shared keys for that vehicle.
Apple’s partnership with the IETF was first announced at this year’s WWDC. The group is still working on a final specification to make publicly available for adoption by anyone. But for now, only Apple and Google have access to the necessary protocols and are working on the respective implementations privately.
It’s a really cool technology that furthers Apple’s goal to replace the wallet in your pocket, alongside other initiatives like Digital ID and Apple Pay. Hopefully, more Car Key compatible vehicles will be available soon.
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