USA: Continental has started testing of new digital car key technology that is wirelessly installed in a smartphone. The company has begun a field test in Bordeaux with a fleet of electric vehicles along with Veolia, EVTRONIC, Mercur, and Proxiway.
The digital key can be used to access, start an electric vehicle and provides authorization for the use of charging station, while reservation of the charging stations can be done with the cell phone app.
Under the plan to create an electric vehicle fleet operated in car sharing by different small and medium enterprises, Continental will launch a complete car sharing solution, including the smartphone car key, the in-car electronics, and the fleet management.
According to the company, a special app for smartphones makes it possible to rent a vehicle from the car sharing fleet. The user can use the utility program to find, select, and reserve vehicles in the city region. The smartphone can even navigate the user to the car’s location. It’s even possible to rent a vehicle spontaneously: As soon as the user holds his or her cell phone against a free car, a digital key is generated and sent to the smartphone once an availability check has been carried out on the server. The digital key unlocks the car and, depending on how it is programmed, the app retrieves further data on the condition of the vehicle, before switching to a convenient navigation system. The same principles allow users to reserve a charging station time slot by cell phone app, identify themselves with their cell phone via NFC, and initiate the quick charging process.