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Car Connectivity Consortium launches Digital Key Release 2.0 specification

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) announced that its Digital Key Release 2.0 specification is finalized and now available to CCC members. Digital Key is a standardized ecosystem that enables mobile devices to store, authenticate, and share Digital Keys for vehicles in a secure, privacy-preserving way that works everywhere.

Release 2.0 delivers a standardized and secure method for vehicle owners to use their own mobile device as their digital key and it supports multiple usage models. It also forms the foundation for Digital Key Release 3.0 and beyond, which will add even more user-friendly features. I’m excited about the Digital Key ecosystem that is emerging where using your smartphone as your car key becomes as common as using that same phone as your go-to camera is today.

—Mahfuzur Rahman, president, CCC

The Digital Key Release 2.0 specification leverages Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for contactless communication between smartphones and vehicles, and supports a scalable architecture for mass adoption while reducing costs.

Vehicle owners will be able to leverage Digital Key Release 2.0 for the following capabilities:

  • Security and privacy equivalent to physical keys

  • Interoperability and user experience consistency across mobile devices and vehicles

  • Vehicle access, start, mobilization, and more

  • Owner pairing and key sharing with friends, with standard or custom entitlement profiles

  • Support for mobile devices in Battery Low Mode, where normal device operation is disabled

The Digital Key architecture uses standardized interfaces to ensure interoperability between implementations by mobile device manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers, and it uses standards-based public key infrastructure to establish end-to-end security. Mobile devices create and store the Digital Keys in Secure Elements that provide the highest level of protection from hardware or software-based attacks.

The architecture is also designed to allow vehicle owners to access their vehicles without Internet connectivity, while also allowing vehicle manufacturers to add features that require Internet connectivity for specialized features.

The next generation of Digital Key, the Release 3.0 specification, is under development. It will leverage Bluetooth Low Energy and Ultra Wideband wireless connectivity to support passive, location-aware keyless access, providing vehicle owners with more convenience and new features.

The Digital Key Release 2.0 specification is now available to CCC members.

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