Continental has announced that it will supply a selection of its components and products for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, including its smart device-based access solution (called CoSmA), which allows mobile devices to be used as car keys.

The ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity technology used in CoSmA allows compatible smartphones or smart watches to open and start the vehicle automatically. Owners can create and manage several digital keys at the same time – transmitting them to friends and family members. The vehicle owner can also assign various rights and specify, for example, that a person can only open the vehicle but not drive it.

The system recognizes valid virtual keys stored on a device, initiating authentication using Bluetooth Low Energy (an energy-saving variant of the Bluetooth standard that is continuously active in the background). If successful, the precise position of the smart device in relation to the vehicle is then determined using UWB. The vehicle only unlocks if the device is within the defined vehicle area. This accurate signal localization prevents the radio signal from being intercepted for abusive purposes, since it is only possible to start the engine once the verified end device has been recognized inside the vehicle.

Continental also confirmed that its CoSmA system is compatible with the specifications of the cross-industry Car Connectivity Consortium, which unites OEMs, smart device manufacturers, and technology companies to advance the communication and integration of mobile devices and vehicles. For Mercedes-Benz, Continental will supply the full CoSmA system, which includes a central control unit, transceivers featuring UWB radio technology, and intelligent software.

In the E-Class, a powerful long-range radar from Continental will support ADAS such as adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assist with data on vehicles and obstacles ahead. Another electronic safety component from Continental is the telematics control unit installed in the vehicle, which ensures smooth data exchange with mobile phone networks while enabling safety-relevant functions such as eCall.

Further safety support for the new E-Class comes from Contiental’s surround view cameras, which provide a seamless panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings. Similarly, the supplier’s light control units ensure enhanced road illumination through intelligent control of the full LED headlights.