A new digital key standard will allow you to use a smartphone (and possibly Apple Watch) to unlock your car.
The standard is backed by Apple, Samsung, LG and Qualcomm, as well as a number of car manufacturers …
The group behind it is known as the Car Connectivity Consortium.
The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), an organization focused on enabling seamless mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity, today announced the publication of the Digital Key Release 1.0 specification. Available to all CCC member companies, this first standardized solution enables drivers to download the digital key onto their smart devices and use it for any vehicle […]
CCC’s charter member companies [include] Apple, Audi, BMW, General Motors, HYUNDAI, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen, and core members including ALPS ELECTRIC, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.
Version 1.0 requires the dealer to transfer the digital key to your phone. The consortium is already working on release 2.0, which sounds like owners will be able to do it themselves.
Targeted for completion in Q1 2019, Release 2.0 will provide a standardized authentication protocol between the vehicle and smart device. By joining forces, Release 2.0 will deliver a fully scalable solution to reduce development costs for adopters and ensure interoperability between different smart devices and vehicles.
Audi says that it already offers the digital key service for a lot of its models, VW says that it will do so ‘soon’ while BMW appears to be focusing on version 2.
The standard is also backed by the NFC Forum.
Individual car manufacturers do offer their own smartphone-based unlocking systems, such as Tesla and Viper, but a single standard will make it much easier for companies to roll out.