Leading German automotive manufacturer, Continental AG, which specializes in tires, brake systems and automotive safety is introducing another innovation when it comes to car technology. The company is developing software that can make vehicle access hassle-free, and at the same time, solve the problem of losing car keys.
A large number of vehicle owners have always had the problem of losing or locking the doors and accidentally leaving the car keys in the ignition. One solution that car companies rolled out replaced the keys with a key fob, which gives the drivers the ability to start the car without having to put the key in the ignition as long as the key fob is with them and is within the allowed proximity.
The challenge with key fobs is that drivers never know when it runs out of batteries, leaving car owners clueless on how they can drive their vehicles without the fob. Continental AG's plan is that car owners will have a virtual key, downloaded via a smartphone app, which will give the ability to open the car doors and to start the ignition.
The German company plans to add Smartphone integration modules for all vehicle classes, which will give the ability to wirelessly charge the phone; thus eliminating the issue of running out of batteries, a wireless antenna, and NFC for a wide range of applications.
Another advantage of having the virtual key is for added security, especially for car rental companies. The concept is that the customers will receive a virtual key that they would have to download to their smartphone app whenever they rent a vehicle. The rental company transmits this virtual key and the customer will not be able to unlock the vehicle without the virtual key.
Once the car is returned, the app cancels the virtual key. This gives a much higher level of security and will prevent car theft in the rental industry since the company will have the option to cancel the virtual key anytime or whenever they deem it necessary.
This innovation is very promising, in terms of safety and convenience, and Continental AG Smartphone integration will truly define car technology advancement at its finest.