Car Connectivity Consortium delivers Digital Key Release 3.0 spec

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) —which includes Apple as a member —  announced that its Digital Key Release 3.0 specification – which adds Bluetooth Low Energy and Ultra Wideband (UWB) wireless connectivity technologies to enable compatible mobile devices with passive keyless access and engine start – is planned for completion by the middle of 2021.

“We are creating a world where our mobile devices become true digital keys for our vehicles, bringing a new level of convenience and accessibility for users,” said President Daniel Knobloch in a press release. “Our Digital Key Release 3.0 will allow users to leave their mobile device in their bag or pocket when unlocking or starting their vehicle. The broad support from our members allows us to develop Digital Key specifications that meet the industry and consumers’ needs for a global standardized and secure Digital Key Ecosystem.”

The Digital Key Release 3.0 specification will complement the Release 2.0 specification, which leverages Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for contactless communication between smartphones and vehicles. Release 3.0 through implementation of UWB connectivity adds hands-free, location-aware keyless access and location-aware features for an improved user-friendly experience. It maintains support for NFC technology as a mandatory back-up solution.

Knobloch says the Digital Key Release 3.0 addresses security and usability by authenticating the Digital Key between a vehicle and the mobile device over Bluetooth Low Energy and then establishing a secure ranging session with UWB. This allows the vehicle to perform secure and accurate distance measurement to localize the mobile device.

The Digital Key Release 3.0 specification will be made available to CCC members by the middle of 2021. Companies that would like to join CCC to support specification development and to gain access to the final spec can visit

The CCC is “dedicated to cross-industry collaboration in developing global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity.” The Board of Directors of CCC include individuals from the Charter Member Companies Apple, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, LG, NXP, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen.

The accompany image is courtesy of TU Automotive.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.