Smartphones are slowly replacing the bulky key fobs; quite a few carmakers already offer this feature on their products while others are expected to follow suit. But as we know, smartphone technology evolves very fast, much faster than car, and there isn’t a standard to ensure that the feature will work across devices for years to come. That’s why a number of big tech companies and automakers have come together to sort this out. More than 70 companies, including the likes of Apple, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Audi, GM, BMW, Hyundai, NXP, Qualcomm, and Volkswagen, have joined hands under the Car Connectivity Consortium. The idea is to create the Digital Key standard – a specification that aims to let you securely unlock and start your vehicle across car and mobile device brands.
The Digital Key 1.0 specification, released by the consortium, provides a secure way for a user to download a digital key on their phone. It will make use of NFC technology built into the smartphones to unlock, lock and even start a car. The Consortium says the technology uses a “Trusted Security Manager” system to guarantee the security of the digital keys on each user’s device. The consortium is assuring the highest state-of-the-art security level for vehicle access. The digital key will make it extremely convenient for users to manage access to their cars. This will also make car sharing much easier because renters wouldn’t need to receive the physical keys to borrow vehicle. The consortium is now working on Digital Key 2.0, set for release in early 2019.