Digital Car Key and Ultra Wideband Groups Team Up for Future Apple Car Keys Improvements

UWB Apple Car Connectivity


The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and the FiRa Consortium, which oversees the development of the Ultra-wideband (UWB) standard, announced a partnership this month to collaborate on the future development of UWB features used for the CCC Digital Key function.


Apple is a member of the CCC as well as FiRa. Apple has adopted the CCC’s Digital Key specification for its Car Keys feature, which allows the iPhone and Apple Watch to unlock compatible vehicles via NFC. Car Keys are compatible with certain BMW, Kia, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Genesis vehicles, but Apple undoubtedly wants to expand adoption.


The CCC and FiRa Consortiums will collaborate to “develop and maintain” the UWB technology specifications used for the Digital Key standard, which is the foundation for Apple Car Keys. Jinjing Jiang, an Apple engineer, will oversee the collaborative effort.


The collaboration is expected to encourage greater use of UWB technology in vehicles. UWB is currently used in the Digital Key standard to relay how close a user is to their vehicle, allowing a smartphone or wearable to be used for vehicle access or to start the car when within the appropriate range.


Along with Apple, CCC members include Ford, BMW, GM, Honda, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and others, whereas FiRa members include Apple, Google, Qualcomm, Cisco, Samsung, NXP, and others.

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