The iOS 13.4 update appears to give iPhones the ability to lock/unlock and start cars using NFC.
- shares

A software update could turn your iPhone into a car key that can be shared with your family, according to new reports from 9to5Mac.

According to the report, the iOS 13.4 Beta references a "CarKey" API allowing manufacturers to use the iPhone or Apple Watch to lock, unlock and start a vehicle.

Cars will need Near Field Connectivity (NFC) built into their doors to work with the system, which will allow owners to hold their phones up to the door instead of carrying a key.

9to5Mac says you won't need to authenticate with Face ID. That means the key will still work when the phone's battery dies, making it harder for owners to lock themselves out after a long day scrolling Instagram, Facebook, and CarAdvice.

Owners will be able to pair their phone with a car by downloading the relevant manufacturer's app, and then holding their phone on the NFC reader. A key will appear in the owner's Apple Wallet once pairing is complete.

Along with unlocking their own car, owners with an Apple CarKey-compatible car will reportedly be able to send friends or family a virtual key using Apple Wallet.

A number of manufacturers, including BMW, are currently moving into the world of NFC unlocking – but the capability has been reserved for Android phones.

Pictured: Yes, the phone pictured is not an iPhone. The image is purely illustrative, and we'll update when photos of the system in action become available.