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Automakers Working On Downloadable Digital Car-Key

Considering technology is always finding ways to lighten our pockets and purses of bank or fidelity cards, it's no surprise that car keys could be the next to go.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:June 22, 2018, 11:10 AM IST
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Automakers Working On Downloadable Digital Car-Key
Brands such as Apple, Audi, Samsung, VW are working on digital keys that will allow you to start your car with your phone. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)
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It may not be long before physical car keys are a thing of the past, replaced by tech on our mobile devices, however with these new Digital Keys comes great responsibility, which is why big brands are working together in a Car Connectivity Consortium to develop a standardized solution.

Considering technology is always finding ways to lighten our pockets and purses of bank or fidelity cards, it's no surprise that car keys could be the next to go.

Car Connectivity Consortium, “an organization focused on enabling seamless mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity” has just announced the publication of Digital Key Release 1.0 specification in order to provide a standardized authentication protocol between a vehicle and a smart device.

This essentially provides some ground rules, or a “robust ecosystem” as the company puts it, of what needs to be implemented with the Digital Key, such as a smart device being able to lock and unlock the vehicle when in the proximity, as well as start the engine once inside. There will need to be user authentication, provisioning, revocation and the ability to share peer-to-peer.

These guidelines are not only for vehicle manufacturers to know what features to offer their customers but also other industries that are involved or affected. Device vendors will need to work alongside car brands, while integrated solutions for smart home and transportation apps are also part of the ecosystem. Rental companies and car sharing services will have new ways to manage vehicles, opening up opportunities as well as potential problems to solve.

Among the CCC charter member companies are major brands like Apple, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen, while core members include Alps Electric, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.

The consortium notes that given the extensive interest from automotive and smartphone manufacturers as well as the supplier ecosystem, CCC has begun work on the Digital Key Release 2.0 specification with expected delivery set for Q1 2019.

Audi, a member of the consortium, already has a mobile key function in the form of the Audi connect key on mobile device, while other brands have plans to put such a system in place in the near future.
| Edited by: Ayushmann Chawla
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