Connected Cars: Digital Keys in the Autonomous Era

As digital transformation becomes a mainstream initiative, the automotive industry is now looking toward mobile devices to meet the needs of their consumers. With increasing technological advancements made in mobile device connectivity over the past decade, innovation in consumer experiences using the smartphone are currently at the forefront of research and development by today’s top car manufacturers.

It’s no secret that the call for consumer convenience is stronger than ever, especially in access control. We already see car-makers like Volvo, General Motors, and Tesla starting to develop digital keys to unlock and start-up their cars; instead of traditional keys or fobs. With these encrypted digital keys for your smartphone, Volvo’s VP, Henrik Green, foresees a time where our cars "could be used more often and efficiently by whoever the owner wishes."

Unlocking Possibilities

Digital keys in connected cars open up a plethora of opportunities for both businesses and consumers. The utilization of mobile access control could not come at a better time as ride-sharing moguls like Uber and Lyft have become two gigantic forces in transportation; collecting over 50 billion dollars combined in 2015. For these ride-sharing companies, digital keys would be distributed to passengers once their driver is confirmed and revoked once their trip has ended or has been canceled. In this scenario, digital keys address an important security concern by preventing unwanted passengers from entering an unauthorized vehicle. Additionally, another strong candidate for the integration of digital keys are automotive rental companies such as U-Haul or Hertz. Mobile access control can enhance the “car rental” experience for users by allowing the user to simply walk up a connected fleet vehicle of their choice and simply access the car with their mobile device. Digital keys enable complete bypass of the front desk in this situation, furthering consumer convenience.

The Key to Self-Driving Success

Moreover, many car companies are also working on the next big thing in transportation: autonomous cars. Just earlier this year, Tesla’s Model S took the world by storm with it’s self-driving abilities. And ever since, other car companies have been looking to reveal their very own self-driving cars. Yet, with all of these developments there’s still one major question all auto companies must ask themselves: “Do we have the right tools?” Both autonomous cars and the future of ride-sharing call for a technologically advanced key; one that will allow an individual to unlock the door of their driver-less Uber or share access of a car for ride-sharing purposes. With that being said, automotive companies need to find a means of creating a future-ready key.

Learn how UniKey’s CORE platform is the right tool for the future of automotive access control.