The Car Connectivity Consortium Announces Digital Car Key Specs for Smartphones

Smartphones give us much more than just a way to call someone, giving us a one-stop shop to pay for goods, listen to music, and much more.

The vision for a lot of different companies out there is one where the smartphone is the go-to option for just about anything someone might need, but can be easily accessible from their device. That includes our payment and loyalty cards, our drivers license, and more. And now the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), which includes Apple, has published their vision for digital car keys.

“Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) is developing an open standard for use of smart devices as digital keys for automotive. The solution will be car and smart device agnostic. It will enable consumers to conveniently lock/unlock the vehicle and start the engine along with other interesting features. The solution will also enable provisioning and sharing of keys with properties associated with them. The Digital Key specification will be built on existing standard technologies such as Global Platform, GSMA, Bluetooth, and NFC. CCC is also collaborating with other standardization organizations to create a lean and efficient solution. The first phase of Digital Key specification is targeted for completion by the end of Q1 of 2018.”

The CCC has announced the publication of the Digital Key Release 1.0 specifications, which envisions a future where car owners can host their automobile’s key on their phone. That would give them the ability to turn the car on and off, unlock or lock the doors, and even turn the car on.

The digital key would take advantage of Near-Field Communication, or NFC, which would allow for secure authentication on an iPhone or other smartphone. The first phase of the digital key specification should be finalized before the end of the first quarter of this year.

This idea isn’t completely unheard of. Audi, for instance, already offers a digital key system. As far as which manufacturers might be coming down the pipe, the CCC includes BMW, General Motors, and Volkswagen, which already has plans to launch a digital key offering sometime soon.

[via MacRumors; CCC]