Digital Key – The Future of Vehicle Access

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) announced in 2020 its Digital Key Release 2.0 finalized specification.
The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) Digital Key is a standardized ecosystem that enables mobile devices to store, authenticate, and share Digital Keys for vehicles in a secure, privacy-preserving way that works everywhere.

  1. Introduction into the Digital Key concept

The Digital Key Release 2.0 specification leverages Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for contactless communication between smartphones and vehicles, and supports a scalable architecture for mass adoption while reducing costs.
Vehicle owners will be able to leverage Digital Key Release 2.0 for the following capabilities:
Security and privacy equivalent to physical keys
• Interoperability and user experience consistency across mobile devices and vehicles
• Vehicle access, start, mobilization, and more
• Owner pairing and key sharing with friends, with standard or custom entitlement profiles
• Support for mobile devices in Battery Low Mode, where normal device operation is disabled
The Digital Key, Release 2.0 specification was designed also to meet vehicle manufacturer requirements for use and to form the basis of developing the future releases that will continue to expand the capability, ease of use, and convenience of mobile vehicle access.

  • Digital Key Architecture Overview

The Digital Key ecosystem consists of vehicles, Vehicle OEM Servers, mobile devices, and Mobile Device OEM Servers communicating with one another using a combination of standardized and proprietary interfaces.
Standardized interfaces ensure interoperability between the implementations of mobile device manufacturers (Mobile Device OEMs) and vehicle manufacturers (Vehicle OEMs)
Mobile devices may act as either owner or friend devices, but the vehicle-to-device interface is the same in either role.
There are 4 types of communication:
• Vehicle – Device
• Vehicle – Vehicle OEM Server
• Device – Device OEM Server
• Vehicle OEM Server – Device OEM Server
In this way is possible to realize aka MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) based on agreemen between device manufactures and automotive manufactures in a simple fast and trusted way

  • Digital Key Future:

In the near future is expected Digital Key 3.0 to be available.
Digital Key Release 3.0 Adds Passive Keyless Access Capabilities. The Digital Key Release 3.0 specification will enhance Digital Key Release 2.0 by adding passive, location-aware keyless access. Rather than having to pull their mobile devices out to access a car, consumers will be able to leave their mobile device in their bag or pocket when accessing and/or starting their vehicle. Passive access is not only vastly more convenient and a better overall user experience, it also allows vehicles to offer new location-aware features.
To support these new features, the CCC is developing a specification based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in combination with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) to enable passive keyless access and to allow secure and accurate positioning.
Continue reading..

Car Connectivity Consortium Digital Key:

Whitepaper Digital Key – The Future of Vehicle Access:


About Mihail Mateev

am a Microsoft Regional Director currently living in Sofia, Bulgaria. My interests range from technology to entrepreneurship. I am also interested in programming, web development, and education. Technical Consultant, Community enthusiast, PASS Regional Mentor for Central Eastern Europe, chapter lead, Microsoft MVP – Microsoft Azure. Organizer of SQLSaturday, Azure Bootcamp, IoT and JavaScript conferences. My experience is in various areas related to Microsoft technologies, including Windows Platform, ASP.Net MVC, MS SQL Server and Microsoft Azure. I have a PhD in cloud computing and am a university lecturer on Smart Homes and Smart Energy IoT Solutions
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