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Report: You could soon start your car using your iPhone

If Apple had its way, of course

Apple iPhone car controller

If there’s a problem that needs solving, "there’s an app for that" is what Apple would say. Now, the Cupertino-based company has something that could change the way we interact with our vehicles.

According to the Daily Mail, a recently granted patent, which was first filed in 2011, may allow vehicle owners to access their cars using their iPhone. Aptly called "Accessing a vehicle using portable devices," the patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and describes what could be the wave of the future.

Consisting of a Bluetooth module, a control feature and a storage module, the iPhone (or controller device) "talks" with the car via Bluetooth or Bluetooth LE. Once hooked up, the user can perform functions like lock/unlock doors, start the engine, switch on the lights and climate control, and even adjust the driver seat. As long as it’s in the car, the device can control it.

The patent also provides for the use of two devices to control the vehicle and its various features. The primary device naturally has full access to all vehicle gadgets and capabilities. The secondary device can be created as a sort of spare key for the wife or the kids. Thanks to the magic of electronics, the main user can specify what functions the spare can have access to. Things like vehicle speed, radio station and volume, or even the length of time the car will stay on the road can be set and limited.

This Apple vehicle-access system is not exactly a new concept. Volvo and Ford have rolled out something similar in the past. But unlike these carmakers, Apple hints that its gizmo could work for any vehicle, regardless of make or model. One thing is for sure: It's just a matter of time before you can start controlling your car using your iPhone.


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