Smartphone and Car Manufacturers to Co-Operate on Digital Key 2.0 Car Unlock Features
Major smartphone manufacturers and producers of cars will be bundling forces in order to create a standard that allows phones to act as a digital key for cars, based on NFC. The Digital Key 2.0 standard, which is being supported by most manufacturers, should ensure that a significant amount of phones and (future) cars will be compatible with each other.
Version 2.0 of the standard called ‘Digital Key’ increases the compatibility and is currently planned for a rollout in 2019. At the moment, the first version of Digital Key is already available for use, although the implementation in consumer products has been somewhat scarce.
The initiative for the standard of car connectivity is being led by Samsung, and manufacturers such as Apple, LG and Qualcomm have come together for the universal standard as well. Regarding the car manufacturers, BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, and Volkswagen are all a part of the Digital Key 2.0 initiative. The group is officially known as the Car Connectivity Consortium.
It’s likely that NFC – currently the unlocking method for Digital Key version 1 – will still be available with Digital Key 2.0, but the whitepaper suggests that Bluetooth will also become a possibility to unlock a car. Bluetooth as a unique identifier is currently being used by a number of smart locks.
The security and authentication are incredibly important factors of this digital unlocking of cars, and some of the more technical details have been made available. A trusted service manager will communicate directly with a secure element in the NFC chip, similar to how mobile payments are now being processed. It’s unclear how the security would work if someone would choose to use Bluetooth over NFC.