updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue October 21, 2008
BMW and NXP Smart Key
NXP and German automaker BMW today revealed a prototype of what they claim is the first true smart car key. The pocket-sized device holds both wireless communications and a security chip that let drivers store information that can be sent to nearby devices without much risk of a security leak. Owners could pay for public transit and road tolls or have rented cars that remember a regular driver's preferred settings, NXP suggests.
In BMW's circumstances, the key could also be used to grant permission to use features in the car, such as any Internet-based features accessed from a center stack console or personal contact information.
The example will be on show at the CARTES & IDentification expo two weeks from now in Paris, though neither BMW nor NXP has said if or when the key will be included with production cars.