The Organization behind MirrorLink, Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) announced the publication of the Digital Key Release 1.0 specification. Using this Digital Key, users can unlock their vehicles using NFC on their Smartphones. Apart from unlocking/locking other features like remote start, access sharing etc can be enabled.
Given the 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, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Audi, BMW, General Motors, HYUNDAI and Volkswagen, and core members including ALPS ELECTRIC, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.
The possibilities here are immense, With no need to carry a Key fob at all, just NFC contact with the phone and you have unlocked your car. Sharing Digital Keys amongst your family members means everyone has access to the vehicle.
This also creates ease of access for car rental companies, fleet owners, corporate cars etc. On the flipside, digital keys could be vulnerable to hacking and could make car theft easier.