Apple has filed a patent application for a system that allows a vehicle to be unlocked via something similar to Face ID. The patent is titled the “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization” and it should, in theory, allow a user’s smartphone act as a more secure key via biometric authentication.
The patent was filed over two years ago, in February of 2017, but it was only published last week.
According to the patent, this was Apple’s rationale:
Vehicles may be accessed and operated using a key or key fob. Typically, the 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, most conventional key fobs or keyless entry systems are single factor security systems that offer only a low level of security.
Moreover, 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.
To make the unlocking process more secure, yet easy to use by any family member, Apple thought of a mobile biometric solution that could do just that, while adjusting in-car settings (like music or seat position) to the individual’s preferences.
If you are curious about the minute details of the system, you can view the full patent here.