LG Innotek develops ‘digital car key module’

LG Innotek has developed a “digital car key module” that is five times more accurate than existing ones, making it easier for drivers to find their parked vehicles, as well as open or lock car doors and start engines using their mobile phones, the component affiliate of LG Group said Sunday.

A digital car key module is installed inside a vehicle and allows wireless data transmission between it and a mobile device using ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, a form of wireless LAN communication, and a proprietary algorithm.

“The module’s error range between the smartphone’s location and the recognition location has been reduced from 50 centimeters to under 10 centimeters,” Ryu In-soo, chief of the company’s automotive components and electronics business division, was quoted as saying in a statement.

Because demand for vehicle sharing and rental services has grown recently, the market for digital car keys is on an upward growth trajectory.

Market researcher Strategy Analytics said the number of vehicles around the world that use digital keys is expected to increase 360 percent from 6.3 million in 2020 to 28.9 million in 2025.

Existing digital car key modules reportedly have a lower level of accuracy in terms of location detection and there are also security concerns as they are vulnerable to hacking.

“LG’s digital car key module is compact and slim. The module contains about 60 components, including radio-frequency and power-blocking elements. With its compact size, it can be freely installed anywhere inside and outside a vehicle,” LG said.

The company also hopes to use the digital car key module in wider applications in the burgeoning mobility services business.