Hyundai Mobis Offers Secure NFC Smartkey System

Hyundai Mobis announced that it has recently developed an integrated smartkey system where a user installs an app on an NFC-supported smartphone and utilizes it as their smartkey for their vehicle.

Until now, Hyundai Mobis is the only Korean automotive supplier which has completed development of a smartkey utilizing NFC technology. The number of suppliers possessing this technology is rare even in the global market and this technology has hardly been even applied to mass-production as of yet. Hyundai Mobis aims to mass-produce the product from 2019.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connectivity standard that enables data exchange between devices within the range of 10 cm. While NFC has been applied to more areas in IT over the past 10 years, primarily for electronic payments, including transportation cards, credit cards and membership cards, it has not been developed much for the automotive industry.

The advantages of NFC-based smartkeys include portability and advanced security. First, drivers don’t need to carry a conventional smartkey anymore. They can unlock their vehicle simply by positioning their NFC-supported smartphone (with an app for security authentication) closer to the door of the vehicle and can also start it up by pressing the start button after setting their smartphone on the wireless charging pad inside their automobile.

The vehicle door knob and the wireless charging pad contain an antenna that receives NFC signals, which enables communication between the vehicle and the smartphone. You can install the antenna anywhere inside your vehicle but can also designate the position according to user preference.

The most important factor when controlling the vehicle via a smartphone is security. Hyundai Mobis developed an authentication controller utilizing the latest data encryption and authentication technology, which enables encryption of data on the vehicle and smartphone and accurate identification. This provides reliable countermeasures for smartphone hacking, smartphone loss and data forgery.

Another feature of this new system is that the vehicle owner can authorize a third party such as their spouse to use an NFC-based smartkey. This feature is useful when you share a vehicle with others or need to allow others to use your own.

The third party can use this smartkey system by installing the app under the vehicle owner’s permission and completing the authentication process. While the third party uses the vehicle, the owner can control user permissions for the smartkey to prevent any incidents. For example, you can allow the driver to use your vehicle only on certain days or time slots or set the smartkey to unlock the door without being able to start your vehicle.

“Recently, convergence between automobiles and ICT has been evolving rapidly and competition among manufacturers is also fierce,” says Cho Seo-koo, head of Hyundai Mobis ADAS Development Center. “We plan to develop various new technologies designed to improve user convenience and prevent security incidents, and remain well ahead of our competitors.”

Meanwhile, Hyundai Mobis developed and began to produce an Integrated Body Unit (IBU) from March, which is a first among domestic suppliers. IBU is a unit that combines 4 ECUs for controlling the Body Control Module (BCM), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Parking Assist System (PAS). This system minimizes interferences or errors among individual devices and improves system control speed. IBU is also applied to the NFC-based smartphone smartkeys for locking or unlocking doors.

Hyundai Mobis is a global tier-1 automotive supplier. It was established in 1977, and is headquartered in Seoul, Korea. The corporate philosophy is to become a lifetime partner with technologies for automobiles and people.