Continental smartphone-based car key to be introduced in 2021 models of three more car manufacturers

Continental is focussing on the development of the UWB radio standard for vehicle access in the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC). The CCC is working on a global standard for hands-free access vehicles and other applications.

By:June 24, 2020 11:23 AM

Continental smartphone based car key CoSmA

Continental has received new production orders for its CoSmA smartphone-based vehicle access system from three vehicle manufacturers from Europe and Asia. The smartphone-based car key will be integrated into the architecture of their upcoming vehicles. Continental will begin production in 2021. To put simply, CoSmA uses ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology for an access solution that offers a hands-free system and enhances anti-theft protection. Continental CoSmA is aimed at replacing conventional keys and provide user-friendly access to owners’ cars, unlock them and start the engine using their own smartphone without having to pick up the device.

At the core of the system is a digital key that contains the access authorisation to the vehicle. Through one app, the car owner can generate and manage multiple digital keys and also share them with family and friends.

Moreover, delivery services can even deliver packages from online orders directly to the vehicle. As soon as authentication is provided by the backend key management system, access is granted to the vehicle.

CoSmA makes the smartphone a digital key to the vehicle. Continental is delighted that more vehicle manufacturers are integrating the solution into their vehicle generations, thereby making the keyless operation of vehicles increasingly convenient through the use of personal smartphones, says Johann Hiebl, head of the Connected Car Networking business unit at Continental.

Also read: Apple WWDC 2020: What the new iPhone iOS 14 means for CarPlay: Key new features explained

Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Technology

The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in its basic version. Now in its latest generation, the digital key also makes use of ultra-wideband (UWB). The UWB and UWB Bluetooth Low Energy (UWB-BLE) transceiver modules enable the authorised smartphone to be located with high accuracy from both inside and outside the vehicle.

The onboard architecture also features a central electronic computer unit with a secure element as certified secure storage for any digital vehicle key application. As soon as the position of the authorised smartphone is determined, the system allows the vehicle to be unlocked and the engine to be started without having to pull out the smartphone (“hands-free”).

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