Virtual keys unchain the car, but leave control to owner

Virtual keys unchain the car, but leave control to owner

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

NXP’s solution enables not only smartphones to be used as the basis for virtual vehicle keys, but also other electronic devices such as smart watches or smart cards. Most importantly, it extends the functionality of previous virtual keys. This allows the previously rigid binding of a virtual key to a smartphone to be extended to an open system where the keys can be passed on. It also makes it possible to link the key to a spatial or temporal validity period. For example, families and friends can share their cars via smart devices, fleet and car sharing companies can provide keys via the cloud, and online orders can be delivered directly to the trunk.

The solution is based on NXP’s NFC chipsets and secure element technologies, as well as a new secure element from this manufacturer that is also qualified for automotive applications. It enables a car to be opened and started using an NFC-enabled smartphone, a conventional car key or an NFC smart card that contains a digital key. In addition, it allows the secure transfer of access authorization to other mobile devices. It can also be seamlessly integrated into classic locking systems such as keyless vehicle access systems.

An overarching security architecture ensures that encryption is covered throughout, from the secure element in the mobile phone to the secure element in the vehicle. Secure digital key applets ensure interoperability in accordance with CCC standardization. The solution also includes NXP’s NFC technology for vehicle access control and driver authorization.

Secure digital key management is also intended to form the basis for hands-free access to the car, where the mobile phone can simply remain in the pocket. This is to be defined in Release 3 of the CCC. To this end, NXP intends to extend the digital key solution with its Automotive Bluetooth (BLE) communication and the recently introduced precise, secure Ultra-Wideband (UWB) location technology.

Related articles:

BMW, NXP launch next-generation digital car key

NXP, Volkswagen demo UWB application fields in the car

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