Android 12’s Digital Car Keys are just around the corner
Remember when Google announced that starting with Android 12 you will be able to unlock select vehicles with your phone, provided that you have a Google or Samsung phone? If your memory is a bit hazy, yes, Digital Car Keys are a reality that’s coming very soon to a compatible phone near you. Provided that you’re driving a newer BMW model, as this is the largest car manufacturer to support digital car unlocking as of now.
XDA has discovered that an update to the Google Play Services framework has brought the necessary code prerequisites for the car unlocking functionality. Multiple lines of code are referring to NFC and ultra-wide band use for vehicle unlocking. Thanks to UWB, you will be able to unlock your car from up to 100 feet away. Google worked with car manufacturers to include this functionality and make car unlock supported from a distance, similar to your key fob. While few phones support UWB, NFC is a much more prevalent hardware requirement for Digital Car Keys, though it will require you to tap a specific spot on the vehicle’s door with your device.
Initially, the Digital Car Keys feature will be limited to certain regions for Google to test the waters, and you will have to install a digital car key service as well as have a password-protected screen lock with the credentials stored in Google Pay in particular.