By Christoph Hammerschmidt, Contributing Editor
Today’s remote car keys don’t meet the increased needs for flexible, automotive comfortable access control solutions anymore. Many observers believe that smartphone-based software / hardware combinations can offer much more flexibility. Against this backdrop, automotive supplier Denso has bought InfiniteKey, Inc. The acquisition of the Holland, Michigan-based company provides Denso with IP and R&D resources to develop smartphone-based access solutions.
With InfiniteKey’s patents and expertise in phone-as-a-key solutions enables Denso to develop smart access solutions not only for private car owners but even more so for providers of ridesharing, carsharing and driverless services. “Eliminating the need for physical keys will create a headache-free experience for car owners, and ridesharing and driverless services users,” said Bill Foy, senior vice president of Engineering, Denso International America.
InfiniteKey has developed advanced techniques for microlocating smartphones relative to vehicles using standard Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This technology allows automakers to rely on phones as passive keys, in the same way they rely upon dedicated passive key fobs today. Unlike key fobs, however, phones as passive key systems enable a broad range of mobility services, such as ridesharing and driverless services.