Android 12 basically wants to replace your car keys. Google has announced Android 12 during Google I/O, along with a number of changes it will bring. Some of those changes concern Android Auto as well.
First and foremost, Google announced that Android Auto spread to 100 million cars. That said, some new features are coming along with Android 12. If you have Android Auto in your car, you’ll probably want to reason.
Android 12 will act as a virtual car key… for some Android Auto cars
The most exciting news is that your phone may even be able to start your car. Well, you’ll need to have a right combination of a smartphone and a car in order to do that. Not everything will be supported.
Google said that it’s working with carmakers, such as BMW, in order to transform your phone into a virtual car key. That way, you’d not only be able to unlock it with your phone, but start it as well.
This would enable you to share access to your car with friends and family, if needed. Google said that the feature will land on its own Pixel phones, and Samsung devices first. It will start rolling out in the fall.
What’s interesting is that some combinations of phones and cars will use ultra-wideband technology, so you won’t even have to pull your phone out of your pocket. NFC will work fine as well, if ultra-wideband ends up being out of the question.
BMW and Ford were named by Google
Google called out BMW and Ford, so not all Android Auto cars will support it, at least not from the get-go. We’re sure that more and more car manufacturers will add support for the feature, though.
Needless to say, this feature would enable you to leave your car keys at home, basically. That would mean one less thing to carry around with you, and many people would probably be up for that.
We can already pay with our phones, and some of us even unlock our houses using our phones. Down the road, we may not even need keys at all.