The next time you use your Apple CarKey to unlock some CarKey-enabled cars, you need to know that although it is a sophisticated technology, it can still face interference from other wireless devices that could cause the system unable to unlock the car doors.
Some CarKey-enabled cars face interference issues at times and this is what Apple is trying to mitigate with the aptly named “Wireless Charging Interference Mitigation” system that it has recently patented. This is in practice to avoid CarKey owners from failing to unlock their cars.
Apple’s new patent that will prevent CarKey from failing to open car doors
The patent documents are spread across 11,000 words discussing the various circumstances where remote keyless systems might suffer and how Apple’s latest patent will be able to mitigate it by applying operations that are mentioned in the patent document perhaps technically.
According to Apple, remote keyless systems use an electronic key that the user operates which has wireless communications frequencies that allow wirelessly lock and unlock doors and perform functions such as vehicle ignition and so on.
The crux of how remote keyless operation works is simply with the help of wireless power circuitry. When a wireless power transfer operation talks place, wireless power signals are transmitted from a wireless power transmitter circuitry of a system to the wireless power receiving circuitry to charge a battery in a device. Here, it is possible that the wireless power signals being transmitted could face interference with the reception of vehicle keyless systems. In such a scenario, pieces of equipment near the keyless device can cause interference as well and since we are living in a world of wireless equipment including wireless chargers, the probability increases exponentially.
What Apple is proposing here is to detect a risk of interference and thus take necessary measures to avoid it. The interference mitigation operations proposed by Apple will disable such wireless power transfer or adjust the waveform to lower the frequency of the transmitted wireless power signals to avoid interference.
You can read the patent credited to Adam L. Schwartz and three others on behalf of Apple who is a charter member of the Car Connectivity Consortium. You can read more about the patent here.