A recent post of ours on an exciting new car from April 2017’s Shanghai Motor Show looked into how the vehicle is the first connected car to be released with shareable digital car keys.
Part of the reasoning behind this was that it makes it easier to share the vehicle. Certainly, digitising keys offers great potential for car sharing. And think of car rental at places such as airports. It’d be much quicker and easier, as the key could be digitally sent to your phone.
Connected cars are undoubtedly one of the hot topics in the automotive industry at the moment. Essentially, all this means is a car that’s connected to the internet, and tends to be full of interesting technology. More and more, car companies are working with technology companies – for example, Microsoft continues to work with car companies to work towards connected cars.
Instead of physical keys, connected cars are increasingly looking to digital, smartphone-based entry. We’ve looked at how thieves can hack into cars with keyless entry before, but what are the potential data security risks posed by cars with smartphone entry?
Recently, Oberthur Technologies, a firm specialising in embedded digital security, went into a bit more detail on some of the additional security challenges of digitising car keys.
Virtual keys must be stored securely on the user’s smartphone with an optimum level of security – similar, if not identical to, the levels of security given to online banking. Strong authentication of the device used will be necessary, with prior registration with the service a must.
The use of online mobile apps remains problematic, as they don’t have the required security levels. Instead, the virtual key must be stored within a mobile phone’s NFC secure element.
Further along the line, it’s suggested that to provide the most robust form of authentication of the digital key, biometrics may be used to link the user’s identity with their phone, and therefore their car keys.
How the car keys will work is just one of the challenges facing the connected cars of the future, and it’ll be interesting to see what developments are made! In the mean time many of us are stuck with our standard car keys which although very reliable can need a little TLC so if you need your car key reprogrammed get in touch!