A group called the automobile Connectivity Consortium (CCC), composed of various automotive and technology companies wants to replace your car keys with your iPhone.
The CCC, which especially includes Apple as a charter member, has formally declared Digital Key Release 1.0, a new standardized specification that would enable users to obtain”digital keys” for their smartphones.
What Are the Advantages?
The electronic key specification is called a”robust ecosystem” that can let users unlock and lock, share access, and start the motor of the vehicles from their telephones. It depends on a smartphone’s present NFC or Bluetooth hardware.
Presumably, that means that the system will work on any smartphone with NFC or Bluetooth capabilities. The car-sharing part is particularly promising. It may make renting cars or sharing vehicles with family and friends a lot easier. The CCC describes itself as a trade group focused on”global technologies for smartphone-centric automobile connectivity solutions.”
In addition to Apple, charter members of this group include automakers such as Audi, BMW, GM, Hyundai and Volkswagen, and tech companies like Samsung, Panasonic and LG. CCC’s “core members” include Qualcomm, NXP and DENSO.
The organization has kicked off work on the Digital Key 2.0 spec, which will add a”standardized authentication protocol” between smart devices and vehicles. Presumably, that will increase the flexibility of those”digital keys” and increase their usefulness. The 2.0 specification has a tentative release date in early 2019.
When Is It Coming?
As of now, Digital Key 1.0 is available to use for each its members — such as Apple. Some of the CCC’s charter members, such as Audi and Volkswagen, already offer or intend to offer digital important platforms to drivers.
But while there are devices and vehicles available on the market which currently offer digital keys programs, the CCC’s new specification should help standardize the platform.
To put it differently, it might ensure that electronic keys can operate across multiple vehicles and devices, irrespective of manufacturer. It’s not currently clear when smart device makers, such as Apple or Samsung, will implement the technology in their own devices.
Needless to say, with the launch of the 1.0 specification, broader adoption of the technology is very likely to occur sooner than later.