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BMW Turning Phones into Car Keys

We recently spoke about how your phone could be your car key one day, and the technology concerning this has not sat still – in fact, more manufacturers are beginning to play with the idea!

At the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW said that if the key’s function is wireless and exists just to send ‘okay to unlock, okay to start’ signals to the car, this could in theory be transferred to a smartphone.

Many might be pleased with this, as the BMW key on some newer models isn’t too far off the size of a phone itself – with a 2.2 inch LCD screen, it takes up quite a lot of space in your pocket (and is pretty expensive to replace!)

With Volvo also making inroads into the smartphone-car key world and with many cars able to use apps for remote unlocking an temperature control, does the future of car keys lie in our phones?

The First Keyless Car

The new Tesla Model 3 is the first mass-production car to be sold without a traditional car key.

Instead, it uses a digital key in the form of Bluetooth LE (low energy) technology in your phone to communicate with the car, authenticate and unlock the doors.



If you lose your phone or it runs of battery, a credit-card-shaped backup key, which uses NFC technology, has you covered. That’s near field communication, which is how Apple and Android Pay work.

Will You Be Able To Pay With Your Car Key?

Back to the world of traditional key fobs, earlier this month, DS Automobiles, owned by Peugeot-Citroen and working with Barclaycard, launched a car key that has a contactless pay chip embedded in it.



This comes with the limited-edition version of the DS3, dubbed ‘Connected Chic’. The payment chip in the car key uses Radio Frequency Identification technology, which is the same tech used in car key security devices as ignition immobilisers.

Whilst the Tesla Model 3 and the BMW are obviously at the higher end of the luxury scale, this DS3 comes in at just under £16,000, meaning that this exciting new car key tech is a lot more accessible!

We keep up with all the latest car key technology and developments, and have the most up-to-date equipment that allows us to get you driving your car as soon as possible, whether you’ve locked your keys in the car, lost it or need it reprogramming.

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