The Mobile Access Blog

The Mobile Access Blog
Holding a smartphone in front of a car door.

Turning Smartphones Into Smart Keys for Connected Cars

Some of the industry’s leading players in automotive electronics, mechanical locks and mobile locking solutions have developed a new NFC-based system that will revolutionize access to automobiles in fleet management, social-sharing and parcel delivery.

The companies—including WITTE Automotive and Tapkey—have created a new solution to the age-old problem of enhanced vehicle access: Using a smartphone as a key, their new solution can securely grant access, easily and inexpensively, to drivers, fleets managers, and even delivery services that can gain driver-granted access to a parked car’s trunk.

The entire solution will debut at Booth CP9 at the International CES 2015 conference in Las Vegas, January 6 – 9. Harnessing the power of near-field communication or NFC, it can transform any NFC phone or tablet into a key that can open a lock simply by tapping it.

“For fleet management, social car sharing, and parcel delivery for online retailers and package-delivery services alike, there is a tremendous market opportunity for this seamless, secure, and cost-effective solution. Unlike other offerings, ours doesn’t require a permanent Internet connection, and is substantially less expensive to mass produce than current aftermarket add-on’s such as ‘black boxes’ with old-style keys inside,” states Gilbert Hoedl, Tapkey Co-Founder and CEO.

The solution builds on automotive-qualified NFC technology, processors and controllers—all embedded within a vehicle’s door handles and trunk lid.

Prototype for unlocking car trunks

The trunk you unlock with your phone

This car-trunk demonstrator—built by WITTE Automotive, with smartphone connectivity from Tapkey—will allow for direct-to-parked-car parcel delivery by online retailers and package delivery services. The car owner simply approves a request via text message to allow temporary access to a parked car’s trunk, speeding delivery while on the road or at the office. 

The car door of the future

 It looks like an ordinary door handle, but this demo—built by WITTE Automotive, featuring NFC technology and smartphone connectivity from Tapkey—can be unlocked by tapping a phone against it. It promises to revolutionize access and social sharing.

About WITTE Automotive
WITTE Products can be found today in all known car brands. With innovative solutions and technological know-how, WITTE has thrilled its automotive customers around the world for many decades. For these customers, WITTE develops and produces closing and operating systems, as well as hinges and actuators for valves, doors and seat locks and camera modules by WITTE. There are specialized centers of excellence for plastic, stamping and die casting technology to ensure functional, quality, environmental and price excellence.
In addition to the four locations in Germany, WITTE Automotive is represented across Europe in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and France. WITTE Automotive’s global presence can be found in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan and Korea as part of VAST, the Vehicle Access Systems Technology alliance. For more information, visit