CCC Publishes Digital Key Release 1.0 Specs: Replace your car key with your smartphone

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The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), an organization focused on enabling seamless mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity, today announced the publication of the Digital Key Release 1.0 specification. Available to all CCC member companies, this first standardized solution enables drivers to download the digital key onto their smart devices and use it for any vehicle.

The Digital Key specification was developed in order to create a robust ecosystem around interoperable digital key use cases, including allowing drivers to lock, unlock, start the engine, and share access to their car – all from their smart devices.

The guiding principle for using smart devices as car keys is the convenience and ease of use for the consumer. Digital Key is not intended to completely replace the traditional car key at least in the initial phase, but rather would be an enhancement and convenience function for the consumer.

The Digital Key standardization effort in CCC is intended to be based on existing standard technologies, such as Global Platform, GSMA, Bluetooth, and NFC. The CCC standards shall be able to support future standards as well as they become available. The CCC intends to coordinate and collaborate with other standardization organizations as necessary to create a lean solution based on established standards.

The diagram below provides a high level architecture highlighting the focus of CCC efforts including the interfaces to be standardized.

rapidmobile CCC Publishes Digital Key Release 1.0 Specs: Replace your car key with your smartphone

The Release 1.0 specification provides a generalized deployment method that allows vehicle OEMs to securely transfer a digital key implementation to a smart device, using an existing Trusted Service Manager (TSM) infrastructure. By leveraging NFC distance bounding and a direct link to the secure element of the device, CCC is assuring the highest state-of-the-art security level for vehicle access.

As the Release 1.0 specification provides a first standardized solution, the CCC has had a number of new member companies join the organization that believe in the Digital Key vision and future.

Given extensive interest from automotive and smartphone manufacturers as well as the supplier ecosystem, CCC has begun work on the Digital Key Release 2.0 specification. This specification is under development in collaboration between CCC’s charter member companies including Apple, Audi, BMW, General Motors, HYUNDAI, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen, and core members including ALPS ELECTRIC, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.

Targeted for completion in Q1 2019, Release 2.0 will provide a standardized authentication protocol between the vehicle and smart device. By joining forces, Release 2.0 will deliver a fully scalable solution to reduce development costs for adopters and ensure interoperability between different smart devices and vehicles.

I’m excited about the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from the industry to our standardized Digital Key solution, with new members signing up to help drive adoption and specification development,” said Mahfuzur Rahman, President, CCC.

We’re already seeing products in the market that are leveraging Release 1.0, and I believe that the forthcoming Digital Key Release 2.0 will have an even bigger impact on the industry as we meet needs for massive scalability. I’m enjoying this exciting journey with the CCC community as we change the way that drivers access any vehicle, and add further to the key functions that smart devices enable in our lives.

The CCC is dedicated to cross-industry collaboration in developing global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity. The organization’s 70 plus members represent more than 70 percent of the world’s auto market, more than 60 percent of the global smartphone market and a who’s who of aftermarket consumer electronics vendors. Besides MirrorLink®, the CCC portfolio of technologies includes Digital Key and Car Data.

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