BMW wants to make your smartphone double as what?

Answer: Your car key.

by / February 27, 2018
Several BMW i3 electric cars at Crissy Field, San Francisco. The model with the range-extender option displays California's HOV green sticker, which have now run out. The all-electric model displays the white sticker. Wikipedia

BMW announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 a new feature that will become available to BMW drivers this year: Called BMW Digital Key, it will allow drivers to lock/unlock and start their car remotely using their smartphone.

Scheduled for release in July 2018, BMW Digital Key will only work on Samsung smartphones for the time being. One feature is that drivers will be able to share their digital key with five people, as long as they also have compatible smartphones.

Additional announcements from the German auto manufacturer at MWC included a second eSIM for all BMW cars, allowing the vehicles to receive phone calls directly or facilitate a Wi-Fi hot spot. BMW also unveiled a new fully autonomous concept car that users could summon via their smartphone. They would also be able to use their phone to control some of the vehicle’s features, such as the headlights or the horn, from the backseat.