The automotive industry is experiencing a tremendous transformation driven by consumers’ desire to leverage their phone as a key. By using phone-as-a-key, you can now eliminate the need for a traditional key fob in your passive entry passive start (PEPS) system. Bluetooth® Low Energy is a leading technology for this application because it is a versatile technology that is widely adopted in smartphones.
Figure 1: PEPS architecture in a car. The number of satellite modules will vary, depending on system-level requirements.
Let’s take a look at the Figure 1 above, illustrating the typical architecture of a car system that utilizes phone-as-a-key. It includes a central smart key module that communicates with the phone-key and several satellite nodes that passively monitor the Bluetooth Low Energy connection between the central module and the smartphone. TI’s automotive Bluetooth Low Energy car access satellite node reference design shows an implementation of such a node.
While there are multiple wireless technologies aiming to enable the phone-as-a-key solution, Bluetooth Low Energy is the most suitable technology due to several features:
With Bluetooth Low Energy, the possible enhancements to the user experience of your car access system are limitless. The user can simply walk up to the vehicle to unlock it with the digital phone-key and let the vehicle automatically adapt to the user’s preferred settings like the position of mirrors, seat, steering wheel and head up display using their customized digital profiles. Bluetooth Low Energy based car access systems can also enable your vehicle to utilize various secure ranging and localization techniques to locate the authorized phone inside the car, adding one more security measure before unlocking the doors and turning on the engine. Moreover, the user can create digital keys for friends and family as well as temporary digital keys for valet, making car sharing lot more convenient.
TI’s CC2640R2F-Q1 wireless MCU can enable you to utilize Bluetooth Low Energy in your car access system and eliminate the need of a traditional key-fob. For a larger memory option, check out the CC2642R-Q1 wireless MCU.
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