Global standards for greater interoperability
The Digital Key has the potential to enable a range of use cases that are not possible with a classic vehicle key, due to the technological advantages of smart devices. Uniform technology standards are needed to turn the vision of digital vehicle access into reality. Full functionality must be available on various customer devices from different vendors and regardless of the vehicle manufacturer.
Technological specifications for innovative functions
The second generation (release 2.0) of an NFC-based digital key ecosystem has been announced for late 2019. A key feature is the use of a security chip that works separately from the smartphone operating system. This means it also works if the smartphone cannot be started anymore, because the battery is too low. In the near future, Digital Key specification will be enhanced by the ultra-wideband (UWB)-based release 3.0. This will offer maximum anti-theft protection and enable precise localization between the device and the vehicle. As a result, the mobile phone must no longer be held directly up to the door handle to unlock the car, but can conveniently be left in the pocket. The BMW Group recognized early that UWB technology would be beneficial over the long term and suitable for global market penetration. The close cooperation with partners and the fact that UWB is already finding its way into more and more customer devices will pave the way for new and innovative Digital Key features.