Panasonic Automotive, demoed its new Friction Free Connectivity solution, a more secure and convenient way to automatically pair a mobile device to a vehicle, to members of congress at the 2019 CES on the Hill event held in Washington D.C.
Panasonic Automotive’s Friction Free Connectivity is a Bluetooth pairing via Wi-Fi solution. It requires a smartphone app for a one-time secure setup. The new vehicle owner registers within the smartphone app via a streamlined log-in process and then establishes rights to their vehicle using a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This setup is expected to dramatically improve hands-free adoption rates seen today. The solution can be integrated into existing vehicle manufacturer applications and can even be integrated into ride-sharing and rental car apps for easy automatic Bluetooth pairing while traveling.
The Friction Free Connectivity pairing solution offers enhanced security with its ability to cryptographically trust both the user and the vehicle, making it very difficult for “drive-by-pairing” or accidentally connecting to the wrong vehicle.
U.S. municipalities ticket drivers for operating a mobile phone while driving. Sixteen states have passed laws requiring the use of hands-free technology while driving, and seven others impose some level of restriction. However, even with these restrictions, according to the 2019 Zendrive “Distracted Driving Snapshot” study, 60% of motorists use their mobile phone while driving.
“Bluetooth is nearly standard today with 86% of new vehicles coming equipped with the technology. However, the complexity of the pairing platform is a barrier to adoption, which perpetuates distracted drivers to the roadways,” said Jeffrey Zellen, Senior Engineering Manager, Panasonic Automotive. “We have developed a solution that is not only secure, but that is a one-and-done pairing solution that makes it very easy for drivers to utilize.”
According to the 2018 JD Power Initial Quality Study, Bluetooth Connectivity problems were ranked as the second most recurring issue in new vehicles. Panasonic Automotive has found that current connection issues include technical complexity during initial pairing, maintaining connection and overall security concerns.