Rivian today announced second-generation versions of the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, and the reengineered models include support for the Car Keys feature that’s available on iPhones and Apple Watches.


Car Keys allows an iPhone or Apple Watch with NFC capabilities to unlock a vehicle through the Wallet app. A digital version of a car key is stored in Wallet, and unlocking can be done simply by holding an Apple Watch or ‌iPhone‌ near a compatible vehicle’s NFC reader.

A simple tap on the door handle is enough to initiate an unlock, and while Face ID authentication is a security option, Apple offers an Express Mode that eliminates the need to authenticate for a faster unlocking process.

Prior Rivian vehicles supported unlocking through the Rivian app, but ‌Car Keys‌ is a different feature that is better integrated into the ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch. While the Rivian app was able to sense a user approaching and unlock the car, it was slow to work and not as accurate or as simple as ‌Car Keys‌.

Rivian has added Ultra Wideband technology to its new vehicles for improved accuracy.

Use your phone or smartwatch to automatically lock or unlock doors when you’re nearby. Accessing your vehicle is easier than ever — thanks to ultrawideband technology enabled by the wallet feature on iOS and Android.

Rivian says that ‌Car Keys‌ feature can be used with the R1S and R1T for unlocking and starting their vehicles, plus sharing digital keys with family and friends.

Along with ‌Car Keys‌, the updated Rivian models also feature Connect+, a streaming service that provides access to over 3,000 apps, including music services. Rivian says that it worked with the Apple Music team to “deeply integrate” ‌Apple Music‌ into Rivian’s Connect+ platform. Customers can access ‌Apple Music‌’s more than 100 million songs, and with Rivian Premium Audio, ‌Apple Music‌ Spatial Audio is supported.

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More information on the upgraded vehicles can be found on Rivian’s website.

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