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Denso acquires smartphone-as-a-key technology startup

Automotive parts and technology company, Denso, has acquired American company InfiniteKey, with a view to developing systems enabling smartphones to be used instead of vehicle keys.

smartphone as a key

Denso acquires smartphone-as-a-key technology startup

The acquisition includes patents and R&D resources, and is aimed at enabling what Denso calls ‘frictionless mobility’ – sharing vehicles, and launching driverless services, accessed without the need to have a physical key on board.

InfiniteKey uses a low-energy Bluetooth connection, and would work similarly to today’s ‘keyless’ entry fobs, but with the ability to access multiple vehicles at specific times and integrate with apps on the smartphone – it could mean car sharing companies could ‘send’ a key to a user when they need it, with far less administrative burden than swapping a physical key or fob.

Bill Foy, senior vice president of Engineering, DENSO International America, said: “Eliminating the need for physical keys will create a headache-free experience for car owners, and ridesharing and driverless services users. This acquisition brings us one step closer to making this experience a reality and advancing vehicle access technologies.”

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.