Published on July 25th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


The Digital Car Key…..Costs Will Be High

More than 70 leading automotive and tech companies, including Apple, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Audi, General Motors, BMW, Hyundai, Qualcomm, and Volkswagen, have joined together under the ‘Car Connectivity Consortium’ (CCC) to create the Digital Key standard for the automotive industry.

These companies represent about 70% of the world’s automotive market, and about 60% of the global smartphone market.

The Digital Key specification was developed in order to create a robust ecosystem around interoperable digital key use cases, including allowing drivers to lock, unlock, start the engine, and share access to their car using their NFC (near field communication) enabled smart devices.

This technology would be great for sharing access to a car within a family without the need for a physical key. The technology is especially useful for car rental companies or use in car sharing services.

The system operates in much the same way as digital keys currently available from a handful of vehicle OEMs. Users with authenticated smart devices are able to lock, unlock, start the engine of and share access to a specific car.

Relying on existing Trusted Service Manager (TSM) infrastructure, Release 1.0 allows carmakers to securely transfer digital key information to a smart device, such as a smartphone, perfect for car-sharing or fleet deployments.

The Release 1.0 specification provides a generalized deployment method that allows vehicle OEMs to securely transfer a vehicle’s ‘digital key’ to a smart device, such as a cell phone, using an existing Trusted Service Manager (TSM) infrastructure. By leveraging NFC distance bounding and a direct link to the secure element of the device, the CCC is assuring the highest state-of-the-art security level for vehicle access.

All this sounds really great, but our worry is the cost of this new technology which will be passed on to the car buyer. Already today, an average car key replacement costs starts from RM450.00 and goes up to a lofty RM4,500.00.  The next generation key will cost more?

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