Volkswagen unveiled a concept car utilizing ultra-wideband (UWB) technology for its keyless entry system, highlighting the benefits of the technology in terms theft protection.
UWB, backed by the recently formed FiRa consortium, is capable to
precisely determine spatial information with extremely high accuracy down to just a few centimeters and with low latency.
The Volkswagen Arteon model used for the concept car launch in Hamburg incorporates five UWB tags and two variable tags. The initial features it was set up to demonstrate were theft protection, automated trailer hitch activation and in-cabin passenger detection. Future features that could be enabled using UWB include automated valet parking, hands-free parking lot access and drive-through payment.
The car uses UWB tech provided by NXP.
“We use UWB to measure the time of flight. So, if you have a key in your pocket and you are approaching your car, the car can exactly measure the travelling time of a signal between the key and the car, and therefore determine how far away you are,” said Lars Reger, chief technology officer for NXP.
“As it is using the speed of light, you cannot cheat it. There are other mechanisms used in the past, but this one is the most robust and most ‘un-cheatable’ system that we know so far. UWB enables super accurate positioning and is super energy-efficient. This is the first time we are able to show tangible results and products, and the consumer ecosystem is gaining momentum,” he added.
In the concept car, the Volkswagen UWB car key uses high-precision sensing technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to learn personalized user gestures. So, if there’s a particular movement you want to use to unlock the car, then you can train the car to recognize it.
NXP promotes UWB as a better alternative to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, in applications including mobile, automotive, internet of things (IoT) and the industrial space.