Motorists are expecting a lot more from their cars these days when it comes to convenience and comfort than they did before. Continental has now acquired full ownership of OTA Keys, a joint venture it had with D’leteran in order to enhance its presence in the carsharing industry. Both of the company’s cloud-based solutions Continental Smart Access (CoSmA) and Remote Cloud Key (RCK) make carsharing infinitely easier by facilitating on-demand access without the use of keys. All you need to do is use your smart device like a smartphone to lock, unlock and authorize the vehicle for start. CoSmA enables a handsfree access system that is already a part of the vehicle architecture, while RCK is an aftermarket solution. With the shared mobility services market slated to grow at a rapid pace, Continental has highlighted its interest in developing “Key as a Service” as an important component of its mobility services portfolio through the OTA Keys acquisition.
OTA Keys was set up in September 2014 as a joint venture between Continental and D’leteren. OTA keys allow car rental companies, fleets, and car-sharing companies to use smartphones as keys and to get live trip data from the vehicle on parameters like mileage, fuel level, and state of charge. OTA has already established itself as a key player in this market and its technology is used in thousands of vehicles for more than a dozen global customers. OTA keys will now become a part of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) business unit in Continental’s Interior division.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ralf Lenninger, Head of Intelligent Transportation Systems business unit at Continental said that Continental would leverage the innovative spirit and agility that made OTA keys a successful startup while using the company’s own technology and structural strength to enhance the keyless access solutions.
He said, “Key as a Service is the answer to many of the hurdles that shared mobility services presents. From facilitating easy rentals or car sharing to providing roadside assistance, from package deliveries to vehicle grooming – Key as a Service will make it all possible.”
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