New ultra-wideband chip capable of turning smartphones into car keys

14-11-2019 | NXP | Automotive Technologies

NXP Semiconductors has added to its UWB portfolio with a new automotive UWB IC. UWB offers precise, secure, real-time localisation abilities unrivalled by other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. The technology is created to give spatial awareness to UWB-equipped cars, mobiles, and other smart devices, to allow cars to know precisely where the users are. For the first time, smartphone-based car access allows the same level of convenience as state-of-the-art key fobs. Users can open and start cars, while having their phones in their pockets or bags, and experience secure remote parking via smartphone. Moreover, the new UWB IC delivers the highest level of protection against car theft through relay attacks.

Together with the launch of the IC, NXP, BMW Group, Continental and others are together working on UWB implementations through the Car Connectivity Consortium and IEEE to guarantee the best customer experiences at the intersection of the vehicle, mobile, and consumer devices. These standardisation endeavours strive to enable a global standard for handsfree smart access and other automotive localisation use cases based on UWB.

“Today, the smartphone plays a central role in the digital lifestyle. We are convinced that the smartphone-based comfort access is just the beginning of a series of innovative vehicle-related UWB use cases,” says Dr Olaf Müller, head of development Digital Access Functions, BMW Group.

“Continental is at the forefront in delivering secure localisation platforms that will create leading applications that catch the imagination of the power user generation,” said Philippe Fournet-Fayat, director at Continental AG for Car Access Systems. “To deliver new use cases, such as smartphone access and remote parking requires the ultra-precise real-time localisation capabilities of UWB.”

“The opportunities that exist in the web of mobility and automotive are vast. As a leading semiconductor manufacturer in these segments, we have the ambition to tap these and bring more seamless and secure mobility experiences to users,” said Markus Staeblein, vice president and general manager of Secure Car Access at NXP. “We are pleased to jointly work on the required interoperability and standardisation for UWB with BMW Group, Continental and other CCC members.”

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