Bosch Australia develops smartphone car key, plans global rollout

By Addie Thomes

Bosch’s Australian unit has unveiled a new digital car key that allows users’ smartphones to unlock and start their cars.

Named Perfectly Keyless, it is designed to address issues of finding keys and could also assist businesses which manage large fleets of vehicles.  

As drivers approach their vehicles, their smartphones are identified by on-board sensors. “Once this identification has happened, the vehicle is unlocked without any need for a physical key,” added Harald Kröger, President of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division. “Similarly, no key is needed to start the engine or to lock the car again at the end of a journey.”

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Vehicle owners can also use an app to give other drivers permission to use their vehicles. In a secure process that Bosch says is protected against unauthorised access, an additional virtual key will then be sent via the cloud to other smartphones. This will allow the providers of car-sharing services and the operators of vehicle fleets to manage access and keys flexibly.

To use it, drivers download an app onto their smartphones, and connect their cars to the app. Once they have done this, the smartphone generates a one-off security key that fits their respective vehicle’s digital lock – doors will unlock when the phone is two metres away.

Having been developed in Australia, Bosch has now ramped this up to a global project spanning three continents.

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