NXP Uses Ultra-Wideband Technology to Turn Smartphones into Car Keys

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NXP Semiconductors has announced a new automotive Ultra-Wideband (UWB) IC capable of turning smartphones into car keys. UWB provides precise, secure, real-time localization capabilities unrivaled by other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. The technology is designed to give spatial awareness to UWB-equipped cars, mobiles, and other smart devices, to enable cars to know exactly where the users are. For the first time, smartphone-based car access offers the same level of convenience as state-of-the-art key fobs. Users can open and start cars, while leaving their phones in their pockets or bags, and enjoy secure remote parking via smartphone. Furthermore, the new UWB IC brings maximum level of protection against car theft through relay attacks.

The NXP NCJ29D5 is the first of a new generation of UWB ICs designed specifically for the demands of the global automotive industry. Together, with NXP connectivity and security solutions, such as Bluetooth, Near Field Communication, and Secure Element (SE), this technology enables true secure handsfree smart access supporting the car connectivity standardization. 

Beyond smart access and remote parking, NXP’s automotive UWB targets other exciting use cases such as:

  • Short Range Radar – For life sign detection and easy trunk access  
  • Smartphone Valet parking – Cars can be “sent” to park autonomously via a smartphone application
  • Electric vehicle charging – Autonomous positioning on vehicle charger
  • Drive through payment – Localization for secure on the go payment
  • Car as a key – Car is enabled to seamlessly access garage door/parking

In conjunction with the launch of the IC, NXPBMW GroupContinental and others are jointly working on UWB implementations through the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and IEEE to ensure the best customer experiences at the intersection of the vehicle, mobile, and consumer devices. These standardization efforts aim to enable a global standard for handsfree smart access and other automotive localization use cases based on UWB.

For more information on NXP UWB use cases, click here.

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