Drunk? According to an Apple patent, your iPhone could refuse to unlock your car

Drunk?  According to an Apple patent, your iPhone could refuse to unlock your car

Tech Highlights:

  • Apple’s Car Key already provides a way for users to set limits on when shared keys can be used to unlock or drive a vehicle. However, the new patent application outlines a way to expand those restrictions to tie them into biometric criteria, with measuring blood alcohol content being one of the main applications: These Incredible Apps Help You Save Money, Earn Cash, Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions, and Much More. The App Store has become completely oversaturated with all the same repetitive junk. Cut out the clutter: These are the only 6 iPhone apps you’ll ever need…Find Out More

  • Apple is looking into new safety features for its Car Key technology to prevent you from driving when you shouldn’t. A patent application filed by Apple last year revealed that the iPhone maker was working on ways to allow an iPhone or Apple Watch to determine if the user is intoxicated by providing breathalyser capabilities. The other shoe has now dropped in the form of a new patent application discovered this week by the folks at Patently Apple. The most recent patent application specifically covers Car Key interfaces, but one of the concepts presented is the idea of adding temporary restrictions that would prevent the use of Car Key under certain conditions.

In some embodiments, if a user attempts to remove the temporary restriction on the secure credential prior to the predetermined time period lapsing, one or more unlocking criteria must be satisfied before the temporary restriction can be removed. For example, the one or more unlocking criteria can include one or more biometric criteria (e.g., a blood alcohol level below a threshold value). The patent application also includes several illustrations demonstrating how the Car Key interface on the iPhone would work, including specific references to using a breathalyzer to remove the restrictions on your Car Key.

As interesting as this idea is, there’s no need to fear that Apple will enforce this on everyone. The patent application suggests that these features would be entirely opt-in. Besides, they’re only useful if the person doesn’t have the standard key with them. We’re a long way away from a world where your iPhone will be the only means of getting into your car.

In some embodiments, if a user attempts to remove the temporary restriction on the secure credential prior to the predetermined time period lapsing, the trusted contact is notified of the user’s attempt. In some embodiments, if a user attempts to remove the temporary restriction on the secure credential prior to the predetermined time period lapsing, a request is sent to the trusted contact to approve removal of the temporary restriction of the secure credential, and the temporary restriction is only removed after approval from the trusted contact.

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