Digital key enables car access with smartphone

LG Innotek has deveoped a digital car key module that can be used to lock or unlock, as well as start a vehicle using a smartphone.

Once installed in a car, the digital car key module allows wireless data transmission between a car and a smartphone. Drivers can also use the smartphone to view vital vehicle information such as driving distance, fuel efficiency and tire pressure, as well as control the vehicle.

Owners can lend the digital key to another person and allow only specific functions, such as opening or closing the trunk, using a smartphone app.

Without the need to carry a physical key, risk of losing the key is reduced. As the smartphone must be inside the car to drive it, the risk of car theft is also greatly lowered.

LG Innotek’s digital car key module can detect a smartphone’s location five times more better than existing key modules. Its error range between the smartphone’s location and the recognition location has been reduced from 50 cm to under 10 cm.

The more precisely a digital car key module detects the location of a smartphone, the more diverse and more convenient functions can be implemented. For instance, it can be set to open the driver’s door in advance or start the engine automatically.

When several people use the same car, the module can recognise the smartphone location and personalise the driver’s seat or side-view mirrors automatically. When several people with the same digital car key get in the vehicle, the module can detect the person on the driver’s seat.

LG Innotek is actively running promotions targeting global manufacturers of vehicles and vehicle components in the US, Japan and Europe as well as in Korea with the aim of mass-producing the product.

“It will be possible to implement various mobility services using the digital car key module to enhance customer value. We will continue to release innovative automotive components that can provide drivers with convenient, safe, and enjoyable driving experience,” said Insoo Ryu, Head of Automotive Components & Electronics Business Division at LG Innotek.

According to Strategic Analytics, a global market research institution, the number of vehicles with a digital key in the global market will increase by 360% from 6.3 million units in 2020 to 28.9 million units in 2025.