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The new standard would let car owners to unlock their vehicles (if supported) with their phone over NFC and start the engine. The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), the organization behind MirrorLink, has published the first specification of Digital Key.

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A few OEM in the likes of Apple, Samsung and LG are already working on version 2.0, as well as chip makers Qualcomm and NXP and a number of car makers like Audi, VW, BMW, GM and Hyundai. The next-gen standard should be completed in the first three months of next year.

With Digital Key your phone (or smartwatch) can make remote car key fobs unnecessary. But there’s more than that, the digital key for a car can be downloaded on demand and even shared remotely and peer to peer.

Imagine the possibilities. You can lend someone your car even if your abroad on vacation. A company can start offering car rental with nothing more than an app, just walk up to the car and hit “unlock”.

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