VOXX International Corporation has announced that its subsidiary, VOXXHirschmann, which is a tier-one supplier to some of the leading automotive OEMs, has eliminated the need for car keys with its new efob. The Phone-as-a-Key technology is the latest in a range of the company’s range of remote start and keyless entry products. With the efob, motorists will no longer need to carry their car keys. They can use their smartphones and an efob-enabled, Bluetooth mobile application and infrastructure to access, drive and share their vehicle seamlessly. The company has already finalized a deal with an electric vehicle manufacturer as their tier-one supplier for the efob technology. Production and delivery are slated to begin in 2018.
The new patented efob solution offers users the capabilities of a secure smartphone application designed for Apple and Android devices, while effectively leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) technology, a network of sensors and unique micro-proximity detection application software, secure cloud, and other intellectual property. All consumers have to do to lock and unlock their vehicles is approach their vehicle with their smartphone, provided the vehicles are equipped with smart sensors. In the event that there are issues with network coverage, neither the vehicle nor the smartphone need a cellular or internet connection to unlock/start the car once paired. As the app works in the background, no action on the smartphone or by the consumer is required.
The efob is available as a stand-alone app or can be fully integrated with an OEM’s consumer smartphone application offering. It offers users the convenience of highly accurate proximity-based detection with advanced capabilities for full control of automated user preference vehicle settings like seating position, mirror positions and climate controls. Thanks to cloud-based digital key management system, owners gain access to powerful new functionality that allows them to share vehicle access with family members and friends electronically via their smartphone. This is ideal for ride-sharing companies, fleet managers and large families where members share vehicles. Users can also implement time and geo-based restrictions and usage limits, permitting and revoking access rights as required. They can use the functionalities of the app for creating multiple user profiles with individualized preferences, which are all automatically activated by proximity to the vehicle. The anti-theft functionality is another bonus.
Speaking about the e-fob Michael Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Sales and Business Development with VOXXHirschmann Corporation said that the efob Phone-as-a-Key concept is an exciting new addition to the company’s range of industry-leading remote start and vehicle access products. It is a solution for OEM’s who are continuously looking to differentiate themselves in the market. It is not just a replacement for a physical key, but will allow OEM’s to offer a wide array of new in-car functionality including wireless sharing and linking of devices, thus further complementing their current vehicle automation programs without increasing system costs and complexity.
Mr. Schroeder said that the concept has drawn substantial interest from both current and potential automotive customers and this is highlighted by its first collaboration with an electric vehicle manufacturer with production slated to begin in 2018. He expressed his belief that the ability to personalize settings, both for the driver and for those they wish to provide access to the vehicle, is a convenience factor that will remain in high-demand.
He added, “Additionally, efob’s cloud-based approach for managing individual cars, fleets of vehicles and multiple users for different vehicles, can be a significant mobility enabler for the wide spread adoption of ride sharing, a rapidly growing industry that many OEM’s are actively exploring. We look forward to working with our OEM partners over the coming years in bringing this solution to market in their forthcoming vehicles.”
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