6 Digital Key Questions and Answers

6 Digital Key Questions and Answers main blog pic

Will Digital Key replace traditional keys and provide sufficient security for the end-users?

What is Digital Key?

Digital Key is a technology that allows using smart devices, for example, smartphones, as keys. The main driving force for using smart devices as keys is the convenience of the car owner or user.

Is Digital Key use limited to automotive?

No, Digital Key technology is not limited to any specific industry and can be implemented in hotels, real estate, and other fields. But it is true that today automotive companies are most interested in the benefits of this technology and are driving digital vehicle key development in the search of growth opportunities.

Is Digital Key going to replace traditional car keys?

Now, while the technology’s still in the initial phase, it’s not going to completely replace traditional keys. Its main goal is to increase convenience for the consumer.

What technologies is Digital Key based on?

The Car Connectivity Consortium and its members base their work on standardization of the Digital Key on such technologies as NFC, GSMA, GlobalPlatform. The solution will also be able to support future standards once they’re available.

What are the core usage cases of Digital Key?

  • Unlocking/locking of a vehicle. It includes unlocking and locking a car with and without any user interaction with a smart device, as well as getting access to a vehicle by placing a device close to a sensor.
  • Starting of the engine. User can start the vehicle by simply pressing the start/stop button or by tapping the smartphone at a specific location inside the car.
  • Sharing or provisioning keys. Digital vehicle key can be provisioned to any device that meets security and technology requirements. Sharing of the key can be done through proximity connectivity connections or large range communication connections.
  • Properties and restrictions. User can restrict the time and maximum speed when a vehicle is accessed with the Digital Key or limit car access only to its trunk.

What will be done to ensure the security of Digital Key solutions?

It is expected that consumer devices holding a Digital Key will have security mechanisms to prevent such threats as:

  • Unauthorized copying, modification, and deletion of existing keys.
  • Unauthorized creation and provisioning of new keys.
  • Interfering with the connection between an app/vehicle and a smart device.

In addition to this, security architecture must enable the receiver of the messages between a device with Digital Key, vehicle, another device, and a remote backend to verify their trustworthiness. Devices holding Digital Key are also supposed to have a hardware-based trusted execution environment as well as an operating system security framework that allows the limitation of the access to security services.

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