DENSO has acquired InfiniteKey along with several key patents and R&D resources. The acquisition provides foundational pieces to developing phone-as-a-key technology and increases DENSO’s lead in developing and deploying smartphone-based automotive access, a critical component of the company’s strategy to create a future with frictionless mobility. This type of technology will become increasingly important for automakers, as ridesharing and driverless services progress beyond the need for keys.
InfiniteKey has developed advanced techniques for microlocating smartphones relative to vehicles using standard Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This technology allows automakers to rely on phones as passive keys, in the same way they rely upon dedicated passive key fobs today. Unlike key fobs, however, phones as passive key systems enable a broad range of mobility services, such as ridesharing and driverless services.
DENSO completed its transaction of InfiniteKey in October 2017 but the terms have not been disclosed. Recently, Continental enhanced its ‘Key as a Service’ portfolio by acquiring OTAkeys. Bosch too has launched a digital vehicle access system which turns the smartphone into a car key.