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Apple's new "Car Keys Tests" app makes it easier for car makers to test their digital car keys

By Kenny Yeo - on 22 Feb 2023, 10:24am

Apple's new "Car Keys Tests" app makes it easier for car makers to test their digital car keys

A new Car Key Tests app was spotted in the App Store. You probably haven't seen it because the app is distributed under Apple's developer account which means it's unlisted. You won't accidentally stumble upon it and you can't search for it. The only way to access it is through a direct link.

But more importantly, the app will let car makers test their integration with Apple's digital car key feature.

Under the app description it says the app will let MFi Licensees "test and validate the connection, performance, and other key requirements for the certification process of the vehicles you develop that incorporate Apple digital car keys technology." 

This feature was announced during WWDC 2020 and it would allow iPhone owners to use their phones to unlock and start their cars using NFC technology. Another nifty thing about this feature is that it will allow users to share their car keys wirelessly and remotely.

Sadly, the uptake of this has been lukewarm. Apart from certain BMW, Hyundai, and Kia cars, it seems like most car makers have largely ignored this feature.

It's likely that Apple was privately distributing its Car Keys Tests app directly to its digital car key partners in the past, which might make it tricky for partners to install them.

Hopefully, the addition of the app to the App Store would make it easier for the app to be distributed to its partners and improve the adoption of this feature because it has the potential to be a real game-changer for car owners. Not just for the convenience it offers, but also for the added security. Keyless car theft is a problem in certain parts of the world and Apple's digital car key technology has the chance to change that.

Source: 9to5 Mac

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