Unlocking a car without a key or a keyfob isn't all that easy anymore, but if the key gets stolen, you're in for a really bad day. Apple might have the answer to eliminating the need to carry a key fob altogether and adding more layers of security for your car through a mobile device. Apple's patent application titled 'System and method for vehicle authorisation' was filed for back in 2017. but has been published online only recently.
Accessing or even starting a car using a smartphone has been in the works and even operational for some manufacturers. For example, Hyundai's new biotech allows customers to start their car with a through fingerprint recognition, Tesla Model 3 allows for a smartphone to unlock its doors and Ford has its Sync ecosystem that allows the car to be started remotely.
Apple's new system has a slightly different approach. It is likely that it would make the feature an integral part of the phone's operating system and not just function via a proprietary app. The system could likely employ either fingerprint or facial recognition.
The system will not just be limited to Apple iPhones. It isn't necessary the owner of the car owns an iPhone as well. Apple doesn't intend to force you into buying an iPhone to use this system, the patent describes further that a Face ID-like system could be integrated into the exterior of the car.
Apple security system will also remember various driver profiles based on which phone is being used to unlock the car or which face. It will then change the seating position, climate control, radio presets and personalisations to the profile's preference.
The manufacturer doesn't hope to stop just at vehicle entry and personalisation of the interior, Apple also wants to make use of proximity-based geofencing to promote the purchasing of goods and services. For example, the vehicle could detect a payment gateway for an EV charger or perhaps coffee for a nearby Starbucks drive-through.