Go to content Phone human-readable description of the message we trying to accomplish. Search human-readable description of the message we trying to accomplish. Map pin human-readable description of the message we trying to accomplish.

The last few years has seen a growing level of interest in enhancing the relationship between mobile devices and cars to deliver new experiences and value for vehicle users.

Enabling Digital Car Keys Today and Tomorrow

During Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, taking place this week, Apple announced plans to support NFC based digital car keys to support vehicle unlocking with an initial launched planned with BMW during 2021. This comes on the back of the recent announcement from the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) that its 2.0 Digital Key specification has now been finalised and released. Trustonic strongly believes in the digital key experience as a core enabler of both richer customer experiences and enhanced end to end security for the automotive industry. With Key Fobs remaining a major source of security breaches (a recent report from Upstream analysing attack vectors between 2010-2019 found that almost 30% of attacks are view key fobs) the move to wider usage of Digital Car Keys is a very welcome development.

However, as with all leading-edge innovation that spans multiple industries, the challenge is the time it will take to reach a critical mass of deployments. With Apple accounting for approx. 13% market share and initial deployments of CCC enabled devices starting in premium devices (the CCC specification requires an embedded Secure Element), it could be years before we see the majority of mobile devices used by consumers being capable of supporting Digital Car Keys.

Enabling Secure Digital Car Keys

The good news is that Trustonic can enable OEMs to accelerate their plans. We have been providing technology enabling secure digital car keys for several years and last year launched commercial solutions with Volkswagen and Hyundai. Our Trusted Execution Environment is already deployed in more than 2 billion mobile devices and hence, we can help automotive and mobile OEMs to bring these solutions to market now.

Moving forwards, we are enhancing our portfolio to directly enable a virtual Secure Element, supporting the CCC 2.0 specification. This will allow OEMs to benefit from forwards compatibility without having to wait to bring the benefits of digital car keys to the masses. Our Trustonic Application Protection solution provides an end-to-end secure communication path between mobile devices and the cloud infrastructure. This is further augmented by our Trusted User Interface (TUI) that provides enhanced protection of the digital car keys and additional mobile device to vehicle functionality.

We believe the move to digital car keys will bring many benefits to the automotive industry supporting new ways of engaging with vehicles and new ownership models. Our focus is on maximising the ability of OEMS to leverage these innovative experiences for the widest possible number of customers.

Want to learn more about how we can help you to deliver a Digital Car Key experience in 2020?

Talk to our automotive cyber security experts today

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related content



Cyber Security is a new dimension of quality in the automotive industry

This week McKinsey & Co. and the Global Semiconductor Alliance published an enlightening report into the changing attitudes towards cybersecurity in the automotive industry. The report highlights both the new regulatory frameworks that will force cybersecurity to the top of the agenda as well as a key change in perception of the role that cybersecurity plays in the future of the industry.



Top 10 Security Challenges in the Automotive Industry for Connected Cars

The global market for connected cars is forecast to grow significantly over the next few years as innovations in connectivity transform the automotive industry. The benefits to consumers are numerous: connectivity offers drivers everything from high definition streaming media, Wi-Fi access, improved entertainment systems, and the ability to remotely control aspects of the vehicle using mobile phone applications, such as the locking/unlocking and ignition mechanisms.

All Automotive Cyber Security posts
Back to top