LG develops next gen digital car keys

LG Innotek Digital Module for Car Keys
LG Innotek's digital key module (Image credit: LG Innotek)

LG Innotek, the electric component unit of South Korea's LG Group, said it has developed a digital car key module that would enable smartphones to replace car keys. 

The module is equipped with high-precision location detection ability and has reliable security functions, the company said.

Existing digital car key modules reportedly have a lower level of accuracy in terms of location detection and they are said to be  vulnerable to hacking.

But what LG Innotek has developed now is said to be five times more accurate than existing ones, which will make it easier for drivers to find their parked vehicles, as well as open or lock car doors and start engines using their mobile phones.

LG Innotek said it has improved accuracy in location recognition by applying ultra wideband (UWB) technology, NFC technology, and its home-grown algorithm to its new module. 

The company claimed it has also used its own hacking prevention technology to enhance the module’s security.

"The module's error range between the smartphone's location and the recognition location has been reduced from 50 centimeters to under 10 centimeters," Ryu In-soo, chief of the company's automotive components and electronics business division was quoted as saying in a statement.

What is a digital car key module?

A digital car key module is a communication component that is installed in a car and allows wireless data transmission between a car and a smartphone. It allows users to open or lock their vehicle, as well as start the engine using just their smartphones, which has to be inside the car to drive it.

A driver can not only control a vehicle but check its mileage, fuel efficiency, and tire pressure from his/her smartphone.

The company claims the new module can provide a customized driving environment. If several people share a car, the module recognises the location of individual smartphones and optimizes the driver's seat or side mirror. Even if several people with the same digital key are on board at once, it can pinpoint who is in the driver's seat.

"LG's digital car key module is compact and slim. The module contains about 60 components, including radio-frequency and power-blocking elements. With its compact size, it can be freely installed anywhere inside and outside a vehicle," the company said.

LG Innotek to mass produce digital key module by 2022

LG Innotek is hoping to sell this to global auto companies because it adheres to standards set by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), which works on a digital key standard for mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity.

It also hopes to mass produce it by 2022

For the record, South Korea's Hyundai auto group has also developed a similar digital key technology.

Strategy Analytics forecast that vehicles with digital keys will increase 360 percent from 6.3 million units in 2020 to 28.9 million units in 2025 in the global market.


Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.