For years, Bluetooth® technology has created connections between car and driver that brought new levels of safety to our roads and more enjoyment to the in-car experience. Bluetooth enabled hands-free calling and audio streaming help reduce distracted driving and provide a safer way to stay connected to the road. 

Now, Bluetooth technology is again transforming the relationship between car and driver, becoming the new standard for automotive keyless entry.

Smartphone as Key Fob

A recent expansion of Bluetooth® technology in your smartphone is the capability to use it as a key fob to access your car — recognizing you as the owner when you approach and unlocking the doors. An increasingly popular trend, annual shipments of Bluetooth enabled key fobs and accessories are forecasted to increase 60% over the next five years. According to the 2020 Bluetooth Market Update, analysts expect to see more than 13 million annual shipments of Bluetooth enabled key fobs and accessories by 2024.

This technology also goes beyond simple access control, supporting a wide range of flexibility and customization in how it’s applied. For example, you could program your smartphone to only open/unlock certain doors (car doors/trunk) that you use regularly without unlocking others. This can be helpful if you’re habitually walking out to your car with your hands full. “Utility vehicles, like those on construction projects, are a great example of where this technology will be used,” said Chuck Sabin, senior director of market development and business strategy for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). “Think about someone needing to repeatedly go back and forth to collect tools and supplies. As they near the vehicle, they can gain access, and as they walk away, it locks. You don’t have to think about it.”

And since the smartphone is a dynamic device, it would allow you to transfer temporary access for your car to others. “Imagine if you have house guests or are lending your car to a friend for the day,” said Sabin. “The phone provides a simple, efficient means of giving access without having to program locks or doors. We always have our phones, even if we forget our keys.”

Beyond Keyless Entry

It’s use cases like those that are driving this trend in automotive keyless entry and are creating a greater need for more wireless sensors in automobiles. To meet this demand, auto manufacturers are designing additional arrays of sensors into their cars to support a wide range of uses — from infotainment and passive keyless entry to tire pressure monitor and condition alerts. As such, analysts forecast that in the next five years, two out of every three cars on the road will rely on Bluetooth® technology, and it’s anticipated that four to six Bluetooth enabled sensors will be deployed in every future car.

Sabin says that organizations like C4A that help manage relationships of the German and European auto manufacturers, Jaspar that works with Japanese auto manufacturers, and many individual U.S. auto manufactures are all excited by the prospect of expanding the accessibility of passive keyless entry and keyless start. The Bluetooth SIG continues to work directly with the automotive industry on the future of digital keys, helping to expand on the concept of the smartphone doubling as a driver’s key fob.

For a complete look at all updated trends for forecasts across all traditional and emerging Bluetooth markets, download the 2020 Bluetooth Market Update.

FEATURED DOWNLOAD

2020 Bluetooth Market Update

Get exclusive access to the most important trends and forecasts for Bluetooth technology, and learn how the Bluetooth community continues to expand the technology to solve new connectivity challenges and address new market opportunities.

LEARN MORE

How To Design a Wireless Social Distancing and Contact Tracing Solution With Bluetooth Low Energy

With its low-cost and low-power features, Bluetooth® Low Energy technology has become the foundation for a…

Bluetooth SIG works to include wearable in COVID-19 exposure notification systems

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is working to create a new specification that…

How a Post-Covid World Can Be Safer with Location Technology

As stay-at-home orders and business closures extend, a lot of us are starting to…

How Smart Factory Can Help You During Covid

The COVID-19 epidemic has brought many things to the forefront. Among them are the…

Location Infrastructure Installer’s Guide Part 1: Deploying RTLS Solutions (Gateway Infrastructure)

There is no one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to the infrastructures that support indoor…

Walk the Walk: Keeping Lone Workers Out of Harm’s Way

Safety in the workplace really does come first. As employers and professionals, we need…

Chicago office building constructed with coronavirus-fighting features

When it opens later this summer, a $26 million Chicago office building will be…

POM Tracer Ensures Workplace Safety with Contact Tracing Solutions from Laird Connectivity

POM Tracer was looking to create an easy-to-implement product that would allow businesses and…

“Back to Work” Solutions - Explained

In this report, we share a detailed technical analysis of technologies available to enable…

Bluetooth Deployment in Hospital Settings

This white paper focuses on Bluetooth technology. The reason for this focus is to…

Location Services and Direction Finding with Bluetooth Technology

In 2019, Bluetooth technology acquired a new capability which allows the direction of a…

Bluetooth Low Energy and the Automotive Transformation

The automotive industry has been experiencing a tremendous transformation. For many consumers, cars are…

Dyer Engineering Installs Location Tracking to Manage Workflows at Sites

Dyer Engineering is an innovative group of fabrication and machining businesses with wide-ranging capabilities…

Latest Advancements and Global Trends in Bluetooth for the Internet of Things

Bluetooth technology is already the number one installed communication method in the IoT and…

Morita Fire Truck Factory Video Case Study

Morita has been developing firefighting technology for over a century. They built the first…

Billions of Bluetooth devices to serve diverse range of industries by 2024

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced the findings from the annual Bluetooth…

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.