In today’s world, unlocking a car with an iPhone or Apple Watch is nothing spectacular. However, today Apple has been granted a patent that could allow owners to create limited, temporary ‘keys’ for others.

The patent says the owner of the car will have the primary key, which would allow full access to the car, which includes unlocking it, starting the engine, and activating personalized settings for the car.

But the patent also describes a secondary method to using the key. Particularly, authorizing another key which would allow the owner to lend the car to a friend.

The primary portable device can limit the types of vehicle-related operations that are accessible when a vehicle is activated by the secondary portable device […]

For example, the usage parameters can limit the accessibility of a vehicle’s operations to a certain period of time (e.g., one hour from transmission of the vehicle access credential, between the times of 1 pm and 3 pm, etc.).

To put this into perspective, you could let your kids only drive the car during the day and set a maximum speed limit, or lend the car to a friend who’ll only have access to it for a couple of hours.

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