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New keyless operating systems are in development that could transform how drivers access and start their vehicles, potentially revolutionising car hire.
According to the plans from the Car Connectivity Consortium, it will soon be possible to lock, unlock and start motor vehicles via a smartphone. Tech giants Apple, LG and Samsung are among those that are part of the consortium, alongside car manufacturers BMW, Hyundai and Volkswagen.
The development of a new standard for keyless vehicles – Digital Key Release 1.0 – would utilise the same ‘near-field communication (NFC) protocol’ technology that is used for making contactless payments via smartphones.
All customers will need to do is hold their smartphone next to the door of a vehicle and confirm their identity using a fingerprint scanner.
Car hire companies may allow customers to download specific codes to enter their vehicles, as access to the wireless keys can be carefully managed.
According to the CCC, digital keys would not relate to a brand of car or a particular smartphone, meaning the rental company would maintain control.
It is also possible to revoke all keys that are given access to a vehicle, meaning access would stop from the moment a car is returned to the car hire desk.
Some of this technology already exists, while further connectivity options – in the shape of Digital Key Release 2.0 – are expected to be unveiled in 2019.
BMW currently uses similar technology, while Tesla operates its own technology to enable keyless driving. However, the new version is set to be standardised across the motor industry.
Volkswagen, Audi and BMW all support the development of the CCC standards, while security is also a main point of focus.
Once implemented, the new processes should make it easier for car hire firms to manage their fleets, while customers will also benefit from many new innovative features. For more car hire and travel news, take a look at our social hub, or follow us on Twitter @QuestorIns.
Date Created: 23/07/2018