BMW, NXP launch next-generation digital car key

November 12, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
BMW, NXP launch next-generation digital car key
NXP has introduced an ultrawideband automotive chip that plays an pivotal role in the development of new localization functions in and around the car. Mobile phones equipped with this chip assume the role of the vehicle key. Further functions are in preparation - even manufacturer-independent.

Ultrawideband (UWB) technology allows very precise and secure real-time localization, much better than existing wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. UWB is designed to give cars, mobile phones and other intelligent devices a spatial "awareness" so that cars know exactly where their drivers are. For the first time, access to the car via smartphone is just as comfortable as with electronic key rings. Users can open and start their cars while carrying their mobile phones, and safely park and unpark their vehicles remotely via smartphones. In addition, the new UWB chip offers maximum protection against car theft through relay attacks.

In conjunction with the introduction of the new chip, NXP, carmakers BMW, Continental, a number of smartphone manufacturers and other companies in the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and the IEEE are working together on UWB applications to develop new functions and standardize the protocols and software stacks required for them. The goal of these efforts is to create a global standard for hands-free access to the vehicle and to enable further applications for vehicle localization based on UWB technology.

Industry-wide standards also support the integration of different smart end devices such as mobile phones, watches or other wearables, as long as they have the corresponding software and hardware integrated.

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