Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,882,493) for a “system and method for vehicle authorization.” Vehicles can be accessed and operated using a key or key fob, but the tech giant sees those being replaced by an iPhone or Apple Watch.
Typically, a key fob may provide a remote keyless entry system that provides access to the vehicle by unlocking the doors and additional functionality such as starting the engine. However, Apple says that most conventional key fobs or keyless entry systems are single factor security systems that offer only a low level of security.
What’s more, some conventional remote keyless entry systems are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks and other security issues. For example, the vehicle is unable to identify the person carrying the key or key fob, so anyone with the key fob can operate the vehicle.
Apple says that, what’s more, a traditional key or key fob is often large and inconvenient to carry, and easily misplaced, and thus can be stolen. Certain vehicles may provide a valet key that limits access to a storage area of the vehicle, e.g., a glove box or trunk, but otherwise allows full control of the vehicle. In short, a vehicle with a key or a key fob provides rudimentary security and would benefit from many improvements.
Apple’s idea is that a vehicle would recognize when a driver/user approaches and unlock automatically. This could be done via an iPhone or Apple Watch.
Here’s the summary of the patent: “A system provides a personalized and secure user experience to access a secured asset, such as a vehicle. A first communication is transmitted, and a second communication is received in response to the first communication. An approach vector is determined based on the first communication and the second communication. The approach vector is compared with a known approach vector, a request for authentication is transmitted based on the comparison. A response to the request for authentication is received, and access to an asset is granted based on the approach vector and the response to the request for authentication.”