Your iPhone could be about to replace your car keys
Apple wants your smartphone to replace your car keys.
The technology manufacturing giant has already made it possible for your iPhone to replace your wallet and now its seems Apple wants you to use you iPhone in place of your car keys.
A patent granted this week suggests that Apple is working on technology that would allow drivers to use their iPhones or possibly an Apple Watch to access their vehicles.
The patent suggests an iPhone could be made to connect with a vehicle via Bluetooth and an access code. The US patent relates to ‘a primary portable device [that] can access a vehicle by transmitting an activation message including a vehicle access credential to the vehicle.’ This means that drivers could use their iPhone to unlock their car, as well as start the engine.
The patent also suggests that one device – an iPhone for example – could pass a digital key onto another gadget – perhaps another iPhone or the Apple Watch, and this could be used to unlock a car.
Other firms are also working on devices and apps with which to unlock cars. For example, BMW lets drivers of certain cars lock and unlock them using their smartphone and a software firm called Eleks Lab has created an experimental app that could let Tesla drivers control their car's functions from the Apple Watch.
Apple already owns a similar patent that could allow drivers to unlock their vehicle using their iPhone with an ‘accessory control,’ is has been reported.
While many patents never translate into real world products, this one seems as though it could come into fruition as many tech firms are exploring ways to connect devices to vehicles. For example, BMW lets drivers of certain cars lock and unlock them using their smartphone. While Hyundai has launched an Android Wear watch that connects to its Blue Link system to start a car’s engine or lock and unlock its doors. The gadget uses voice recognition to find lost cars in car parks too.
Software engineering company Eleks Lab has created an app to run on the Apple Watch that would allow drivers of Tesla’s Model S to lock their car, turn on its headlights and show where it is parked.
The firm, which has offices in London and in the Ukraine, made the app as an experiment and said it would work using web-service API.
Lion Electric to Construct US EV Manufacturing Facility
Who is Lion Electric?
Founded in 2008, is an innovative manufacturer of all-electric, zero-emissions, medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. Lion Electric designs, manufactures, and assembles all components for its vehicles that have unique features specifically adapted to the users and their needs. “We believe that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life,” believes Lion Electric.
Lion Electric’s new Illinois Manufacturing Facility
Just two months after announcing plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec, Lion Electric is expanding its locations further, selecting Joliet, Illinois for its new manufacturing facility in the US.
The new facility is said to “represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the US,” as well as being the company’s biggest footprint in the market. The new facility will give Lion Electric the capacity to meet increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ zero-emission vehicles and bring production closer to customers.
It is expected that the first vehicles off the production line will be in the second half of 2022.
“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles – it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”
Lion Electric’s Agreement with the Government of Illinois
Over the next three years, Lion Electric will invest a minimum of US$70mn into Illinois. The new facility - totalling 900,000 square feet - is expected to create a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs in the next three years, and have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all electric buses and trucks.
Scaling electric bus production and decarbonising freight and transportation
As the US moves to electrifying its school buses, the additional production capacity at the facility will help Lion Electric to scale its electric bus production, as well as produce an increased volume of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks to help governments and operators in the US further the decarbonisation of freight and transportation fleets.
“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion.
“I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.”