Digital Key: BMW relies on ultra-broadband for smartphone car keys

Digital Key: BMW setzt auf Ultra-Breitband für Smartphone-Autoschlüssel

Digital Key: BMW relies on ultra-broadband for smartphone car keys
Picture: BMW

As a member of the Car Connectivity Consortium, BMW wants to rely on the technologies introduced with Release 2.0 and Release 3.0 for the digital car key. Even today, the smart phone can be used as a car key for many car manufacturers. The new digital key is to become standardized and simpler.

Via the BMW Digital Key and BMW Connected (test), the vehicle can be opened and locked via the smartphone or the engine can also be started. In addition, sharing the key is possible without having to physically present it multiple times.

BMW works together with other members within the framework of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) on a device-independent and manufacturer-independent standard with new functions. Its members include not only BMW but also numerous car manufacturers, but also suppliers from the automotive segment, mobile service providers and technology companies such as Apple, Google, LG, NXP, Samsung, Sony or Qualcomm.

The aim of the consortium is to guarantee an unlimited range of functions on terminals of different brands and independent of the respective vehicle manufacturer. “Our customers demand manufacturer-independent interoperability. Standardization is the only way to achieve this, proprietary solutions are no longer effective“Said Dr. Olaf Müller, Head of Digital Access Systems Development at the BMW Group.

NFC in combination with security chip

In a first step, BMW wants to implement the release 2.0 of the Digital Key specifications approved by the CCC in October. This stipulates that only the NFC procedure is used for establishing contact between the vehicle and the smartphone and that this is secured via a security chip in the smartphone. The chip must work independently of the operating system and work even if the battery of the smartphone is actually already empty and this can not be started.

Smartphone does not have to take out of his pocket

With Release 3.0 then finally the need to take the smartphone out of the bag and to hold the vehicle. The new specifications foresee the use of Bluetooth Low Energy in combination with Ultra-Broadband in order to achieve a precise location determination between smartphone and vehicle.

Apple already supports ultra-broadband

The centimeter-accurate positioning has been introduced by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group with Bluetooth 5.1. Bluetooth SIG sees one of the fastest growing markets with a potential of 400 million products by 2022 in the new positioning services. Ultra-broadband, for example, can be found in the iPhone 11 (Pro) (test) with the specially developed U1 chip. Apple handles about a more precise AirDrop, but has not yet commented on other uses. If Apple releases the U1 for third party, the Digital Key could be handled.

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