A tech consortium that includes Apple wants to turn your smartphone into your car keys

Volvo Car GroupVolvo already offers a digital car key.
  • The Car Connectivity Consortium, which includes Apple and Samsung, wants to turn your smartphone into a car key.
  • The tech will allow people to unlock and lock car doors, as well as start their engine and share access to their car with other smart devices.
  • The system uses Near Field Communication, the same technology which is used in contactless payments.

A tech consortium that includes Apple and Samsung wants to turn your smartphone into a car key.

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) announced on Wednesday the release of the Digital Key Release 1.0 Specification, a bit of tech that could make car keys obsolete from the start of 2019.

As well as being able to unlock the car doors, it will allow people to start their engine and share access to their car with other smart devices.

The tech lets car manufacturers securely transfer a digital key to a smart device. CCC claims that it can assure “the highest state-of-the-art security level” by using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

NFC devices are used in contactless payment, and require that electronic devices are brought within a few centimetres of each other to communicate.

This new digital key release system is available to all CCC member companies, which include car manufacturers such as BMW, Honda, and Toyota. Work is already underway to roll out the capability.

Some car manufacturers, such as Volvo, already offer digital car key services but this feature is not yet ubiquitous.

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