With the growing availability of smartphones equipped with
ultra-wideband (UWB), a wireless technology for precise real-time outdoor and indoor
localization, Chinese vehicle OEMs are designing UWB into their next
generation of cars to enable drivers to use their smartphones for secure
hands-free car access.
Your Phone Is a Smarter Smart Key
UWB delivers high precision, with real-time readings that are accurate to
within a few centimeters. The combination of precision and security makes
hands-free car access via smartphone one of the most highly anticipated use
cases for UWB. When your phone is configured as a secure car key, there’s only
one item to carry. What’s more, you can open, start or lock your car while
your phone stays in your pocket or purse.
UWB also uses cryptography, random number generation and other techniques to
protect UWB communications making it less susceptible to hacking or
manipulation. In particular, UWB is highly resistant to relay attacks. With
UWB, the time of flight (ToF) calculation used to determine location uses
timestamping to effectively combat relay attacks. Any hijacked signals show
the wrong time and are expired, making it easy to identify pirated UWB signals
and deny access.
Secure Ranging with Kostal (Image Source: Kostal)
China Is Gearing Up
UWB phones have already penetrated the Chinese market with Apple, Samsung
and Xiaomi all including UWB functionality in their latest flagship models.
Smartphone manufacturers are also collaborating with Chinese vehicle OEMs to
develop UWB-based solutions for secure access, indicating that a significant
number of Chinese cars can be expected to offer secure car access within the
next year. NXP expects four Chinese car OEMs to offer secure car access with
UWB by end 2022 and a minimum of three more to follow in 2023.
UWB allows the phone to become a smart key (Image Source: Kostal)
Chinese OEMs have a number of important reasons to consider UWB for use
in vehicles. In addition to UWB’s effectiveness as a technology for secure car
access, UWB’s ability to deliver precise, real-time ranging and localization
is the basis for a number of advanced automation features that operate at
advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) Level 2.5 or above, such as
automatic valet parking, which offers driverless guidance to and from an
available parking spot.
Accelerating the UWB Adoption in China Through Collaboration
Taking into account that China is a very tech-savvy nation and a fast adopter
of new technologies, the fact that a significant number of UWB-ready
smartphones are available and car OEMs are now integrating UWB, collaboration
further accelerates the growth of the UWB ecosystem in Greater China.
Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC)
fosters worldwide collaboration among phone and car OEMs and most recently
issued a new standard as an agreed basis for smartphone car assess. The
arrival of Digital Key release 3.0* sets a worldwide, cross-industry standard
for secure hands-free car access, so participating smartphone and car
manufacturers can be interoperable across models and geographies.
Second, NXP has demonstrated industry-wide collaboration on building a UWB
ecosystem. Building on their board of directors membership in the CCC and
being a co-founder for the FiRa Consortium™, along with close
relationships with top-tier manufacturers in relevant industries, NXP has
introduced a series of industry-first UWB chipsets tailored for secure ranging
in automotive and smartphone applications known as NXP Trimension™.
Long-standing partnerships with Chinese system integrators make NXP uniquely
positioned to drive the adoption of UWB for secure vehicle access in China.
These partnerships give Chinese OEMs direct access to NXP’s technical
innovations, making it easier to quickly and cost-effectively deliver the
latest in UWB features for automotive.
KOSTAL’s Digital Key System Ready for Adoption
For example, Kostal is using NXP’s UWB technology for their digital key system
for the Chinese market. Using an innovative multi-module multi-node ToF
triangulation, the UWB digital key system offers point-to-connect operation of
other vehicle systems, such as indoor climate and multimedia players, to
enable broader personalization. Domestic vehicle companies such as Nio have
confirmed to adopt KOSTAL's digital key system. The solution fully supports
the CCC protocol, which is compatible with different vehicle manufacturers and
smart phone OEMs. The KOSTAL system is able to support up to 8 wireless mobile
terminal digital keys (UWB digital keys or mobile phones), providing a smooth
and comfortable experience from the user's point of view.
Working with system integrators and deep involvement in the ecosystem
development through the CCC and FiRa provides insight into the needs of the
market and helps NXP accelerate the adoption of UWB in China.
Learn more about
Secure Car Access.