Germans Would Prefer to Start their Cars Using a Smartphone

Germans Would Prefer to Start their Cars Using a Smartphone

Foto: Depositphotos

76 percent of Germans found their car keys a pain at one time or another, according to a survey conducted by PULS on behalf of Bosch. Especially drivers below the age of 40, and those who drive a lot, have had negative experiences with conventional car keys.

It starts with simple logistics: they don’t know where to put their keys (45 percent of respondents), e.g., when at the swimming pool, they misplace them and take ages to find them again (44 percent), while some have even lost them altogether (38 percent). Some used to view car keys with wireless remote controls and automaker’s logo as a status symbol; now only 6 percent of those surveyed do. It comes as no surprise, then, that around 40 percent of respondents could already imagine replacing them with a smartphone app.

“The advantages of a digital car key are obvious. It is convenient, secure, and available any time and anywhere”, says Harald Kröger, president of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division. Bosch is developing the Perfectly keyless app to enable drivers to automatically unlock and start their vehicles without using a key or reaching for their smartphone. Sensors integrated in the vehicle recognize the owner’s smartphone and unlock the vehicle door for that person only; the level of security offered is comparable to fingerprint technology. It is no problem to deactivate the system if the smartphone is lost. The app can also be used to allow access by other drivers for a limited period of time.

46 percent of men, 32 percent of women, and every second SUV driver were excited by the prospect of having a digital car-locking app on their smartphones. People who drive between 15,001 and 20,000 km/year (49 percent) or more than 20,000 km/year (51 percent) are especially open to such a system. Even more than one in two users of contemporary keyless entry systems (54 percent) could imagine replacing them with an app.

The survey respondents, too, see multiple advantages in a digital car key. 30 percent like that they can deactivate the system online if they happen to they lose their smartphone. 28 percent like the idea of using a smartphone to lock or unlock their car remotely. But the convenience factor is a big plus. 40 percent always have their smartphone with them anyway and 38 percent think it good that, with a smartphone app, they would never have to worry again about losing their car keys.

Although 87 percent of respondents consider wireless remote controls to be secure and 78 percent think the same of keyless locking systems, one in every five has had their car stolen or hacked, or knows someone who has. Instead of transferring data using LF and UHF technology, the Bosch system utilizes the smartphone as a virtual key and Bluetooth as the transmission technology. That means the signal cannot be intercepted.

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