Automated driving and mobility
solutions such as car-sharing and fleet services call for innovative vehicle
access systems, as conventional vehicle keys will cease to be adequate for the
mobility concepts of the future. That is why Continental has expanded its Smart
Access solution for convenient vehicle access via smartphone to offer drivers a
complete package of services.
With the technology company's
new emergency unlocking solution, users can gain access to their vehicle even
if the car battery is flat – and can do so completely digitally, without having
to resort to the mechanical emergency key. In combination with the Continental
Smart Access system, the entire door is intelligent, which means that it opens
and closes independently.
"The intelligent door is
a milestone in access technology, as for the first time, we can offer users an
all-round package for hands-free and digital operation, from unlocking the car
and opening the door to starting the engine. With it, we are enabling an even
more convenient and secure driving experience for drivers and offering more
design freedom to manufacturers," explains Andreas Wolf, head of
Continental's Body & Security business unit.
Until now when a car battery
ran out drivers had to fall back on the mechanical emergency key and a manual
door lock to get into their vehicles and open the hood. The emergency unlocking
technology from Continental will render this unnecessary in the future. It does
so by using buffered energy from the door control unit, which is sufficient to
allow the door to be unlocked once more.
This automatic emergency
unlocking system is activated by means of NFC technology, such as via a
smartphone, which transmits the signal following a successful security check
and automatically triggers the unlocking process for the door. This means more
convenience for users, as they no longer need a mechanical key, even for
emergencies. It also opens up more design freedom for carmakers, as they no
longer have to develop a conventional key with a blade and can dispense
entirely with the emergency lock in the door. In combination with the automatic
door opener, even the entire door handle will become obsolete, which offers
more options for the exterior design, whilst simultaneously improving the
vehicle's aerodynamic resistance.
Ensuring that not only the
emergency lock but also the entire door handle is surplus to requirements,
Continental has integrated an assistant function into the intelligent door.
"Electronically controlled doors enable convenient, hands-free operation.
Our security and control algorithms make sure that you can open and close the
vehicle door securely and easily," explains Wolf.
Smart Access enables
convenient vehicle access via a smartphone. The system centres on the virtual
key, which is saved to a mobile end device. This key, which consists of a
tamper-proof data record, gains access only after successful one-time authentication
by the back end, which sends it to the smartphone via a wireless interface.
Further communication takes place exclusively between the smartphone and the
For this purpose, the system
uses multiple Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or NFC transceiver modules, located in
the vehicle, to enable the authorized smartphone to be located both from inside
and from outside. As soon as an authorized virtual key is detected, the system
issues permission to open the vehicle and start the engine. Therefore, there is
no longer any need for a mechanical key.
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