Hyundai and its Genesis brand are reportedly close to adding support for Apple’s digital car key feature, which lets you unlock and start compatible vehicles using the iPhone’s Wallet app, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. According to Gurman, the so-called “CarKey” feature is set to come to Hyundai’s Genesis lineup this summer.
Hyundai already offers proprietary iOS apps, including MyHyundai with Bluelink and the Genesis Intelligent Assistant, which include the ability to remotely start, or unlock the doors of compatible vehicles. But adding support for Apple’s implementation of the digital key feature should make the functionality more seamless, and benefit from system-level Apple Wallet shortcuts. Hyundai’s site notes that its NFC-based digital key feature is currently only available on Android phones.
References to Hyundai have previously been discovered in iOS code
Apple first announced its digital car key feature in 2020, but so far it’s only available on select BMW models. Reports that it would be coming to Hyundai’s cars date back to at least January 2021 when Business Korea reported on the plans, and reference’s to Hyundai’s Genesis cars have also been discovered in iOS 15 code.
Bloomberg’s report doesn’t specify whether Hyundai plans to make use of recent iPhones’ ultra wideband (UWB) technology, which could allow owners to unlock their car without having to take their phone out of their pocket, or whether it will just use NFC. BMW previously announced the feature for its all-electric iX, relying on the U1 chip found in the iPhone 11 and later.
Apple and Hyundai were previously rumored to be in discussions to produce an electric car together. Hyundai later downplayed these rumors, and said it was no longer in talks with the iPhone manufacturer.