News - Bosch
Bosch Australia invents keyless app
New Bosch system uses smartphone as virtual key, requires no swipe
29 Aug 2017
By IAN PORTER
THE global Bosch group is developing an Australian-invented keyless entry system that uses the driver’s smartphone as a virtual key, eliminating the need to carry a car key.
Called ‘Perfectly Keyless’, the new system will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September, although the company says it will still require about another two years of development before it hits the market.
Bosch Australia president Gavin Smith said the innovation was made possible by the industry policies of successive federal and state governments.
“Perfectly Keyless is an example of the high-value engineering work that can be done in Australia in a post-passenger vehicle manufacturing environment,” he said.
The federal government is yet to unveil its policies to encourage automotive innovation and development after the car manufacturing industry shuts down in October following the closure of Holden and Toyota’s local production facilities.
While there are keyless systems already available, the Bosch system works on proximity to the car and requires no pushing of buttons on a physical key and swiping of the phone to open the car.
Just having the smartphone in your pocket will open the car when the driver is within two metres of the vehicle. The vehicle will also recognise the smartphone inside the car and allow the car to be started.
When the driver walks away, the car will be locked when the smartphone moves outside the two-metre radius.
“This means drivers will be able to do without traditional car keys,” said Harald Kroger, president of Bosch’s automotive electronics division.
To use the system, there need to be sensors in the car and a control unit. The driver downloads an app and connect the car to the app, which then generates a one-off security code for that vehicle.
The driver can enable other people to drive the car by sending them another unique code via a secure process that prevents unauthorised access. Each code triggers each driver’s individual settings for seats, steering column, mirrors and other functions.
If the driver loses the smartphone, the keyless system can be deactivated online. The conventional key can be used until a new digital virtual key is downloaded.
The system can be used by rental car companies to impose geographical limits on where a vehicle can be driven or to also impose time limits, rendering the car inert when a certain time period elapses.
Bosch is aiming to have the system incorporated into future models being prepared for release by car-makers around the world, although it might also find application in the burgeoning car-sharing market.
Bosch Australia invented the concept and, once it was picked up by head office, its Australian outpost was given the responsibility of developing the system’s hardware. Work on the system is being conducted on three continents.
Bosch Australia will develop the wireless connectivity nodes for locating a smartphone accurately, ensuring the system cannot be hacked. No decisions have yet been made as to where the hardware will be made.
Bosch Australia moved its brake systems manufacturing offshore a while back when it became clear that car manufacturing would cease in Australia, but it still has a vibrant engineering department with more than 200 engineers.
The department works in collaboration with other Bosch development operations around the world, working on the development and application of vehicle electronics, cyber security gateways, vehicle safety and driver assistance systems.
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