In the not-too-distant future, what if you didn’t need your car keys to unlock your car?
What if it could be unlocked with the smartphone that’s in your pocket right now?
That would solve so many problems, least of which is having too many things in your pocket, and automotive manufacturing firm Continental is committed to bringing that technology to millions of future car owners across the world.
With Continental Smart Access (CoSmA) technology, it’s possible for your smartphone to be your car key.
In fact, future owners of the new all-electric Honda e can unlock the doors of their new ride using Continental’s system.
The technology, Continental’s first application in series production, is already embedded in the diminutive Honda e’s system architecture from the factory, requiring no other special fitment to work.
How does it work? In addition to the physical car key, owners of the diminutive Honda e will also get a number of virtual keys in their smartphone via the My Honda+ app.
Using the app, owners can unlock their new vehicle remotely via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Once the virtual key is detected, the system also allows the owner to then start the car too.
If they so wish, owners of these virtual keys can easily share them with family or friends if they’re unable to hand them the physical key.
It all adds up to an ownership experience that is seamless and convenient for owners of the new Honda e.
Besides the hardware needed to connect with the Bluetooth on phones, CoSmA also comprises the backend key management on the Continental.cloud where keys are created and securely processed.
That means your virtual car keys get the highest standards of data protection available, letting you use and share them with total peace of mind.
And the system is platform-agnostic too: the digital key system works with both Android and Apple smartphones, meaning that regardless of phone brand or operating system, you’ll be able to share and use these virtual keys.
The Honda e will be available in Europe in 2020.
“The Honda e delivers new level of connectivity, and the digital key function will provide our customers with exceptional convenience and new features,” said Shigeo Hamada, project leader of Honda’s Pan European Connectivity Business and general manager of Honda Motor Europe’s automobile division.
Continental’s head of the Body & Security and Infotainment & Connectivity business units Johann Hiebl highlighted the integration of CoSmA in the new Honda e marks “an important milestone” in the connected vehicle era and the digitalisation of the automotive industry.
It enables a “complete digital user experience” for Honda e owners, Mr Hiebl said.