Ultra-Wideband IC opens doors for hands-free car access

For hands-free smartphone car access, NXP, the BMW Group and Continental are working together to develop new automotive uses, based on NXP’s new automotive ultra wideband (UWB) IC.

The NXP NCJ29D5 is the first of a new generation of UWB ICs designed specifically for the demands of the global automotive industry. Together, with NXP connectivity and security solutions, such as Bluetooth, near field communication (NFC) and Secure Element (SE), it enables true secure hands-free smart access, says NXP, and supports standardisation in vehicle connectivity.

UWB provides precise, secure, real-time localisation capabilities, superior to other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, explains NXP. The technology is designed to give spatial awareness to UWB-equipped cars, mobiles and other smart devices, to enable cars to know exactly where the users are, for smartphone-based car access with the same level of convenience as key fobs. Users can open and start cars, while leaving their phones in their pockets or bags, and enjoy secure remote parking via smartphone. The UWB IC maximises protection against car theft through relay attacks.

The three partners and others are jointly working on UWB implementations through the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) and IEEE, and combining vehicle, mobile and consumer devices. Efforts for standardisation aim to enable a global standard for hands-free smart access and other automotive localisation, based on UWB.

Commenting on the ubiquity of smartphones, Dr Olaf Müller, head of development digital access functions, BMW Group, said: “We are convinced that the smartphone-based comfort access is just the beginning of a series of innovative vehicle-related UWB use cases.”

For Philippe Fournet-Fayat, director at Continental AG for car access systems: “To deliver new use cases, such as smartphone access and remote parking requires the ultra-precise real-time localisation capabilities of UWB.”

As well as smart access and remote parking, NXP’s automotive UWB targets short range radar, smartphone valet parking, electric vehicle charging, drive through payment and the car-as-a-key for seamlessly access garage door/parking.


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