The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) announced that its Digital Key Release 2.0 specification, which leverages Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to enable compatible mobile devices such as smartphones to securely access vehicles, is planned for completion by the end of 2019. Release 2.0 introduces a new scalable architecture to support mass adoption, while reducing development costs for adopters and ensuring interoperability between a variety of smart mobile devices and cars. In addition, the consortium has begun work on Digital Key Release 3.0, which adds support for passive access.

Digital Key Release 2.0 Highlights

The Digital Key Release 2.0 specification leverages NFC – a short-range wireless connectivity standard for contactless communication between devices such as smartphones or tablets. CCC uses existing industry standards like NFC as much as possible to ensure high interoperability between vehicles and a wide range of industry devices.

To address security in Release 2.0, a secure connection is established between mobile devices and vehicles using NFC, which continues to operate even when the supported mobile device’s battery is low. Mobile devices ensure the highest level of security by storing digital keys in dedicated, tamper-resistant security chips isolated from the device’s operating system. Mobile developers are able to build applications that interact with digital keys and vehicles to provide custom, vehicle-specific functionality.

Digital Key Release 3.0 Adds Passive Keyless Access Capabilities

The Digital Key Release 3.0 specification will enhance Digital Key Release 2.0 by adding passive, location-aware keyless access. Rather than having to pull their mobile devices out to access a car, consumers will be able to leave their mobile device in their bag or pocket when accessing and/or starting their vehicle. Passive access is not only vastly more convenient and a better overall user experience, it also allows vehicles to offer new location-aware features.