What Cars Can Use a Digital Key

Android Digital Car Key Compatible Cars

In today’s rapidly advancing digital world, technology has made its way into every aspect of our lives, including our vehicles. One remarkable innovation that has gained popularity in recent years is the digital key. A digital key allows drivers to unlock and start their cars using their smartphones, eliminating the need for a physical key. But what cars can use a digital key? In this article, we will explore this exciting advancement in automotive technology and discuss the various car models that are compatible with digital keys.

The Evolution of Car Keys

Traditional Car Keys

For many decades, traditional car keys have been the primary means of unlocking and starting vehicles. These keys consist of a physical key blade that fits into the car’s ignition switch or door lock. While effective, traditional car keys can be easily misplaced, lost, or stolen, leading to inconvenience and potential security risks.

Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start

In an effort to enhance convenience and security, car manufacturers introduced keyless entry systems and push-button start technology. Keyless entry systems allow drivers to unlock their vehicles by simply pressing a button on the key fob when in close proximity to the car. Similarly, push-button start systems enable drivers to start their cars with the press of a button, without needing to insert a physical key into the ignition.

The Rise of Digital Keys

What Is a Digital Key?

A digital key, also known as a virtual key or mobile key, is a digital representation of a traditional car key. It allows drivers to use their smartphones or other smart devices as a key to unlock, lock, and start their vehicles. Digital keys leverage wireless communication technologies such as Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication) to establish a secure connection between the smartphone and the car.

Advantages of Digital Keys

Digital keys offer numerous advantages over traditional physical keys:

  1. Convenience: With a digital key, you no longer need to carry around a physical key. Your smartphone becomes your key, and most people always have their phones with them.
  2. Enhanced Security: Digital keys use advanced encryption algorithms and security protocols, making them highly secure and resistant to unauthorized access.
  3. Remote Access: Some digital key systems allow you to remotely lock or unlock your car, making it convenient for situations when you need to grant access to someone else or quickly secure your vehicle.
  4. Customization: Digital keys can be personalized with different access levels and restrictions, allowing you to grant specific permissions to family members, friends, or valet drivers.

Car Models That Support Digital Keys

Several car manufacturers have embraced the digital key technology and integrated it into their models. Here are some notable car brands that offer digital key compatibility:


Tesla, renowned for its innovative electric vehicles, has been at the forefront of embracing digital key technology. Tesla owners can conveniently utilize the Tesla mobile app as a digital key, granting them the ability to effortlessly unlock, lock, and start their vehicles.The app also provides additional features like climate control, vehicle location tracking, and summoning the car from a parking spot.


BMW offers the Digital Key feature on select models, allowing owners to use their smartphones as digital keys. The BMW Digital Key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, enabling drivers to unlock and start their vehicles by holding their phone near the door handle or the car’s wireless charging tray.


Audi also provides digital key functionality on certain models through its “Audi connect key” feature. This technology allows users to lock, unlock, and start their Audi vehicles using their smartphones. The Audi connect key can be shared with others, granting temporary access to the vehicle.


Hyundai offers the “Digital Key” feature on some of its models, including the Sonata and Santa Fe. With the Hyundai Digital Key, drivers can unlock and start their vehicles using their smartphones. The feature also allows users to send digital keys to family members or friends, granting them temporary access to the car.


Volvo has introduced the “Volvo Cars Digital Key” on selected models. This feature allows Volvo owners to use their smartphones to unlock and start their vehicles. The digital key can be easily shared with others, providing convenient access to the car without the need for physical keys.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ 1: Can any smartphone be used as a digital key?

Yes, most digital key systems are designed to work with both iOS and Android smartphones. However, it’s essential to check the specific requirements and compatibility of the digital key system with your smartphone model.

FAQ 2: Are digital keys secure?

Digital keys utilize robust security measures, including encryption and authentication protocols, to ensure secure communication between the smartphone and the vehicle. Car manufacturers prioritize the security of digital key systems to protect against unauthorized access.

FAQ 3: What happens if my phone battery dies?

Many digital key systems offer alternative access methods in case your phone battery dies. These include physical backup keys, emergency access codes, or the ability to use a spare smartphone with the digital key app installed.

FAQ 4: Can I still use a physical key if my car supports digital keys?

In most cases, cars that support digital keys also come with a physical backup key. This allows you to use a traditional key as a secondary option if needed.

FAQ 5: Can digital keys be hacked?

While no system is entirely immune to hacking, digital key systems employ advanced security measures to protect against unauthorized access. Manufacturers continuously update their systems to address vulnerabilities and ensure the highest level of security.

FAQ 6: Are digital keys available for all car models?

Digital key technology is becoming more widespread, but it may not be available for all car models. It’s recommended to check with the car manufacturer or dealership to determine if your specific vehicle model supports digital keys.


Digital keys have revolutionized the way we interact with our vehicles, offering convenience, enhanced security, and remote access capabilities. Car owners now have the option to use their smartphones as virtual keys, eliminating the need to carry around physical keys. Tesla, BMW, Audi, Hyundai, Volvo, and many other car manufacturers have embraced digital key technology, making it accessible to their customers. As this technology continues to evolve, we can expect more car models to support digital keys, further enhancing the driving experience.

Remember, before using digital keys, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific features, compatibility, and security measures provided by the car manufacturer. So, next time you ask, “What cars can use a digital key?” remember the exciting range of vehicles that have embraced this innovative technology.

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