Apple wants its Car Key to be able to pair wirelessly with a vehicle

Apple has filed for a patent for “automatic Car Key pairing based on wireless pairing.”

Apple makes Apple Car Key, which allows you to add your car key to the Apple Wallet on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Now the company has filed for a patent (number US 20230322186 A1) for “automatic Car Key pairing based on wireless pairing.”

About the patent filing

The increasing capabilities of widely available electronic devices is resulting in a variety of applications that leverage these capabilities. However, in the patent filing, Apple notes that it can be complicated and time-consuming to configure electronic devices so that their capabilities can be used by an application.

For example, many electronic devices communicate with each other using wireless communication, such as a Bluetooth or a Bluetooth Low Energy communication protocol, Apple’s CarPlay protocol, or an Android Auto protocol (from Alphabet of Mountain View, California). However, in order to communicate with each other, electronic devices typically need to first establish a pairing or a connection. Then, once the pairing is completed, the onboarding processes for a particular application executing on or associated with an electronic device can be performed. 

However, Apple says that this independent and serial approach increase the time and effort needed to configure the electronic device so that the application is available for use, which increases the frustration of a prospective user and, thus, decreases the likelihood that the application will be used by the prospective user. Apple wants its CarKey tech to be able to pair wirelessly and quickly.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “An electronic device that at least semi-automatically performs car-key pairing is described. During operation, the electronic device may perform wireless pairing with a second electronic device (e.g., a vehicle), where the wireless pairing establishes a connection between the electronic device and the second electronic device. Moreover, during the wireless pairing, the electronic device may receive information associated with the car-key pairing of the electronic device and the second electronic device. 

“Then, after the wireless pairing is completed, the electronic device may determine that the car-key pairing is supported or available based at least in part on the information. Next, the electronic device may selectively and at least semi-automatically perform the car-key pairing based at least in part on the information, where the car-key pairing enables the electronic device to function as a digital key for the second electronic device using wireless communication via the wireless pairing or another communication protocol.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.