Digital car key module achieves higher precision through UWB

Digital car key module achieves higher precision through UWB

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The digital car key module is a communication component installed in a car that enables wireless data transmission between the car and a smartphone. The digital key is a next-generation car key that allows users to open or close the car door or start the engine via smartphone. The driver can use the smartphone to monitor vehicle functions such as driving distance, fuel efficiency, tyre pressure, etc. at a glance.

LG Innotek’ s new module detects the location of a smartphone with 5 times more accuracy than previous key modules. To do this, the company used UWB technology with better precision for distance and direction than Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which has been widely used for such applications. Furthermore, LG Innotek used the company’s proprietary wireless communication antenna design technology for the module. In addition to the UWB technology, the car key module is using a proprietary algorithm that further improves the accuracy of location detection.

As a smartphone function, the digital key can do more than unlock and lock the doors and release the car start. It can also be lent to other people, whereby time or spatial limits can be specified. Likewise, the authorized user can define that the key can be used for certain functions such as opening or closing the boot.

Just as the demand for car sharing and rental services has increased recently, LG Innotek is also seeing a steady increase in demand for digital car key modules. However, the previous digital car key modules had low accuracy in location detection and concerns about low security.

The module, which is only the size of a single paper clip thanks to high integration, contains about 60 components, including an RF element and a power block. With its compact size, it can be placed anywhere inside or outside the vehicle.

In addition, the module complies with the latest standards of the Car Connectivity Consortium, a global standards organisation for digital keys, which allows it to be used regardless of country, terrain or vehicle type.

The market researcher Strategic Analytics expects the number of vehicles with digital keys in the global market to increase by 360% from 6.3 million in 2020 to 28.9 million in 2025.

More information:

Related articles:

Imec researchers unveil flaw in Tesla’s Keyless Entry System

BMW integrates virtual car key into Apple iPhone

Secure virtual car key opens up new usage models

NXP, Volkswagen demo UWB application fields in the car


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