(Pocket-lint) - BMW could be the first to implement Apple CarKey in cars, according to code found inside iOS 14.

CarKey is a new feature coming to iPhones soon. It enables iPhone owners to open and start supported cars using their handsets, rather than a physical keyfob.

It was first discovered in beta code of iOS 13.4, but later code for iOS 14 reveals a bit more info, including the prospective first manufacturer to sign up.

BMW has been active in developing and implementing keyless technology for a while, outlining its intentions to adopt a universal Digital Key standard.

As posted on 9to5Mac, the company released a statement in December affirming its commitment to the initiative: "The BMW Group took a leading role in the seamless integration of smart devices and the customers' digital ecosystem in the early stages," it said.

"Providing customers with simple, connected and keyless access to their vehicles has been a key area of innovation.

"Today, it is already possible to lock and unlock the vehicle, start the engine and share the key with others using the BMW Digital Key as part of BMW Connected on the smartphone. But this is only the first step in a global technological transformation being shaped and led by the BMW Group."

It seems that Apple CarKey will be part of the next step.

Writing by Rik Henderson.