It looks like the auto industry is now jumping into technology with both feet – and we’re not just talking about autonomous vehicles. Samsung, SmartThings, and Apple are all increasing their visibility in the auto industry. However, for right now, this seems confined to luxury vehicles, such as BMW and Mercedez-Benz.
SmartThings and Samsung
Samsung and SmartThings are looking to increase their footprints in the auto industry. With a new feature set to arrive later this year, you’ll be able to start or turn off your vehicle with the SmartThings app. You’ll also be able to start the heater or air conditioning beforehand so that it will be temperate for you when you step inside.
Additionally, SmartThings is working with Google to bring its dashboard to Android Auto. This means along with controlling your car from your Samsung phone, you’d also be able to control your smart home devices. You’d be able to turn the lights on before you get home, turn the heat up, or close your garage door if you forgot..
At last year’s CES, Samsung announced it would be working with Smartcar to bring compatibility with SmartThings to most new cars in the United States. In October it was announced that Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX Voice Assistant would be working with SmartThings to have hands-free control of your smartphone devices.
It sounds like your car dashboard could become a control center for all your smart home products while also giving access to your favorite Android apps.
BMW and Apple
Samsung and SmartThings aren’t the only companies looking to break new ground in auto technology. BMW and Apple had already been working together. BMW was the only automaker that had signed on with Apple to use its Digital Key system.
Apple’s current Digital Key system is NFC-based, so you need n to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near the car’s tag to unlock it. It wasn’t remote like what SmartThings is offering.
But now BMW is announcing they will be working again with Apple on Digital Key Plus. The requirement to have your phone close to connect has been eliminated. It relies on ultra wideband, which has been in Apple’s iPhone since the iPhone 11 and is also in the Apple Watch 6. Digital Key Plus will be in the electric BMW iX launching in Europe later this year and in the U.S. in 2022. BMW is highlighting the security in the newer service, as it’s resistant to relay attacks.
While currently BMW is the only automaker using Apple’s digital car keys, Business Korea has reported that Hyundai is planning on adopting Digital Key Plus as well later in 2021. Sure, right now these features are confined to luxury cars with the BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but this is just the beginning.
There’s also a push to make ultra wideband (UWB) a standard for digital keys. Apple announced last year it was working on this with its U1 chip. BMW has said it’s working with Apple and the Car Connectivity Consortium to include UWB support in Digital Key version 3.0.
It would stand to reason that SmartThings is envisioning being in all cars with all mobile phones and not just Android and that all makes of cars would eventually want to open and run with all mobile devices and not just iPhones and Apple Watches.
The auto industry seems to be moving into an exciting phase, one that drivers may be more interested in than autonomous vehicles. Samsung, SmartThings, and Digital Key Plus are just the beginning. For more about SmartThings, read on to learn how to create a hands-free smart home with SmartThings and Google Home.