Android: digital car keys can now be shared with your friends
Google has released an update for newer Pixel phones that allows users to send and receive digital car keys.
In 2020, Apple introduced a digital car key feature that allows users to unlock and start a vehicle by holding an iPhone or Apple Watch near the driver’s side door. Only automakers BMW, Kia, and Genesis currently offer compatible vehicles, but other manufacturers are expected to support the feature soon. As a reminder, car keys are stored on iOS in the Wallet app similar to a credit card.
Google has also launched its Digital Car Key feature on select Android 12 phones, allowing owners to automatically unlock and start affected vehicles with the phone in their pocket. Keys could not be shared until now, but Google just changed that.
Sharing your car keys on Android is now possible
Google announced that starting today, users with digital car keys for their vehicles will be able to share them with others. The first compatible smartphones are the Google Pixel 6 and 7, but the manufacturer is working to make other devices running Android 12 and more compatible. Owners can manage multiple Digital Car Keys and assign, view and edit users who have access to the vehicle in their device’s digital wallet app.
Google also notes that it is now possible to share your keys from a Google Pixel to a compatible iPhone. As a reminder, Apple has already made it possible to share its digital keys between iPhones since the iOS 16.1 update. If you have an iPhone, we remind you of the procedure for sharing your keys from Apple Wallet:
- Open the Wallet app on the iPhone and select a car key
- Tap the Share button and choose a sharing option
- Name the shared key, set permissions, and whether to require an activation code for added security
- Send it via Messages, Mail, WhatsApp, etc.
- Tap Continue, authenticate with Face ID, and follow the on-screen instructions
- If you chose to request an activation code or if your key requires a vehicle code, the code appears after you share the key. Your recipient needs this one-time code to add the key to their device.