Turning your smart­phone into a car key

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

WHEN the Frank­furt In­ter­na­tional auto show opens its doors to the pub­lic on Sept 14, lead­ing au­to­mo­tive equip­ment and tech provider Bosch will be demon­strat­ing a new dig­i­tal fea­ture.

Called Per­fectly Key­less, this fea­ture can turn any driver’s smart­phone into a hands-free car key for open­ing and clos­ing doors.

Bosch Au­to­mo­tive Elec­tron­ics di­vi­sion pres­i­dent Har­ald Kröger said: “Per­fectly Key­less, our dig­i­tal ve­hi­cle ac­cess sys­tem, means that driv­ers will be able to do without tra­di­tional car keys.”

The sys­tem is sim­ple and se­cure, re­quir­ing a sen­sor fit­ted to the car that can wire­lessly con­nect to an in­di­vid­ual phone for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“Once this iden­ti­fi­ca­tion has hap­pened, the ve­hi­cle is un­locked without any need for a phys­i­cal key,” said Kröger. “Sim­i­larly, no key is needed to start the en­gine or to lock the car again at the end of a jour­ney.”

In re­cent years, car­mak­ers have been em­brac­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of the smart­phone, whether as a tool for pro­gram­ming a ve­hi­cle’s nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, or for re­motely check­ing its lo­ca­tion, its fuel re­serves or, in the case of elec­tric cars, the amount of charge re­main­ing in the bat­tery packs.

In the case of Mercedes, BMW and Audi, your hand­set can even be used to re­motely park or sum­mon the car.

How­ever, as Bosch is an in­dus­try-wide global sup­plier, its sys­tem can be adopted by any car com­pany in the world, and all a driver will need to take ad­van­tage of it is to in­stall the sup­port­ing app.

And, if a car has sev­eral driv­ers, when the smart­phone con­nec­tion is made, the car can also au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just set­tings, such as seat and mir­ror po­si­tions and ra­dio sta­tions, in line with that driver’s pref­er­ences.

The sys­tem is also fu­turefac­ing. With the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of peer-to-peer car rental ser­vices, Per­fectly Key­less can en­able other peo­ple to ac­cess a per­son’s car ( with their per­mis­sion) without hav­ing to use car keys.

What’s more, the app al­lows driv­ers to set a time limit and ge­o­graph­i­cal bound­aries for an­other user’s key – some­thing that could be just as ef­fec­tive for par­ents wor­ried about their teenage chil­dren’s driv­ing habits.

And as in­no­va­tive as Per­fectly Key­less sounds, so far, the best al­ter­na­tive dig­i­tal key sys­tem is Jaguar Land Rover’s Ac­tiv­ity Key.

It’s a slim wa­ter­proof wrist­band that doesn’t re­quire a bat­tery and which will au­to­mat­i­cally lock and un­lock a car.

The idea be­hind the de­vice is that many driv­ers, es­pe­cially those of proper SUVs want to head out on ad­ven­tures and leave their valu­ables se­curely locked in the car – in­clud­ing the car keys and their smart­phone.

As long as they’re wear­ing the band, the tra­di­tional key fob and any ac­cess apps on their phones are au­to­mat­i­cally dis­abled. – AFP-Re­laxnews

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