Enabling Digital Car Keys Today and Tomorrow

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.

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?

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