A phone as a car key? NXP’s automotive chip turns a mobile into a car key

These standardisation efforts aim to enable a global standard for hands-free smart access and other automotive localisation use cases based on UWB.

By:November 16, 2019 8:19 AM
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NXP Semiconductors has announced an addition to its ultra-wideband (UWB) portfolio with a new automotive UWB Integrated Circuit (IC). UWB, the company says, provides precise, secure and real-time localisation capabilities unrivalled by other wireless technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. “The technology is designed to give spatial awareness to UWB-equipped cars, mobiles and other smart devices, to enable cars to know exactly where the users are. For the first time, smartphone-based car access offers the same level of convenience as state-of-the-art key fobs,” it said in a statement.

Users can open and start cars, while leaving their phones in their pockets or bags, and enjoy secure remote parking.
In conjunction with the launch of the IC, NXP, BMW Group, Continental and others are jointly working on UWB implementations through the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and IEEE to ensure the best customer experiences at the intersection of the vehicle, mobile and consumer devices. These standardisation efforts aim to enable a global standard for hands-free smart access and other automotive localisation use cases based on UWB.

“We are seeing amalgamation of automotive and smartphone technologies, which unlocks a whole new world of opportunities for smart mobility. UWB has transformed from just a data transmission to a secure ranging technology, having multiple use cases for automotive in the coming times,” said Sanjay Gupta, VP & India country manager, NXP India. He added: “We believe the future of the automotive industry lies in such inter-industry collaborations for a better and more secure mobility.”

“The smartphone plays a central role in the digital lifestyle. We are convinced smartphone-based comfort access is just the beginning of a series of innovative vehicle-related UWB use cases,” added Dr Olaf Müller, head of Development Digital Access Functions, BMW Group.

“Continental is at the forefront in delivering secure localisation platforms that will create leading applications to catch the imagination of the power user generation,” said Philippe Fournet-Fayat, director, Continental for Car Access Systems. “To deliver new use cases, such as smartphone access and remote parking, requires the ultra-precise real-time localisation capabilities of UWB.”

The NXP NCJ29D5 is the first of a new generation of UWB ICs designed for the global automotive industry. Together, with NXP connectivity and security solutions, such as Bluetooth, Near Field Communication, and Secure Element (SE), this technology enables secure hands-free smart access supporting car connectivity standardisation.

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