Apple, Audi, BMW, LG, Samsung and others collaborate on Digital Key standard to eliminate physical keys for cars

Digital Key Release 1.0 standard

Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), which is a mix of major smartphone and automotive brands has announced the Digital Key Release 1.0 standard that will let you download a virtual key that can unlock your vehicle, start the engine and even share access with other drivers. Good thing is that this technology keeps its primary focus on security more than anything else.

The Digital Key specification can create a robust ecosystem around interoperable digital key use cases, including allowing drivers to lock, unlock, start the engine, and share access to their car directly from their smartphones. This Release 1.0 provides a generalized deployment method that allows vehicle OEMs to securely transfer a digital key implementation to a smart device, using an existing Trusted Service Manager (TSM) infrastructure.


CCC has also mentioned that it started its work on the Digital Key Release 2.0 specification. This specification is under development in collaboration between CCC’s charter member companies including Apple, Audi, BMW, General Motors, HYUNDAI, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen, and core members including ALPS ELECTRIC, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.

The Release 2.0 is targetting to complete the work by Q1 2019 and it will provide a standardized authentication protocol between the vehicle and smart device.

Mahfuzur Rahman, President, CCC said:

I’m excited about the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from the industry to our standardized Digital Key solution, with new members signing up to help drive adoption and specification development. We’re already seeing products in the market that are leveraging Release 1.0, and I believe that the forthcoming Digital Key Release 2.0 will have an even bigger impact on the industry as we meet needs for massive scalability. I’m enjoying this exciting journey with the CCC community as we change the way that drivers access any vehicle, and add further to the key functions that smart devices enable in our lives.