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NFC Technology in the Automotive Industry

April 24th, 2013 Posted in Consumer Electronics

Near Field Communication or NFC technology has grown significantly over the last two or three years. So much so in fact that many automobile manufacturers are now working with NFC providers to plan innovative applications for use in future automobiles. NFC providers are continuously working on applications that can be used to stream and transfer data directly inside automobiles.

Most cars today, depending on the manufacturer and brand, offer state of the art features such as infotainment, navigation and others. NFC technology experts have conducted research on using wireless connectivity inside an automobile. This wireless technology is critical in allowing the transfer of content from smart phones and personal tablets to automobile navigation and entertainment systems. Wireless systems will eventually replace the cabling system that is now used for data transfer and communication inside vehicles and will be a much less expensive way of doing things.

Texas Instruments, one of the leading NFC technology developers in the world, has developed an NFC chip that will assist in achieving this wireless connectivity. The system is called WiLink 8Q and integrates such current technologies as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GNSS and NFC in order to achieve a wireless connection between the device that the diver uses and any devices that passengers inside the car may be using as well. NFC enabled smart phones and tablets currently require that an NFC tag is used in order to allow this data communication. NFC tags can be purchased at a number of online shops such as Amazon. Texas Instruments is currently developing a prototype of their equipment model and plans to release this prototype during the 2013 second quarter. Production could begin as early as 2014 and the solution is targeted toward automobile manufacturers that produce vehicles in higher volumes.

Ving Card Elsafe is another company that is developing further NFC technology. The company has partnered with automobile giant BMW to begin development on a device that will allow drivers to book a hotel room directly from their vehicle and then use their own vehicle’s keys to open that room when they arrive. This development is targeted toward business travelers who may need to book last minute hotel rooms and arrive at odd hours of the night.

The navigation system inside the BMW will allow drivers to locate and book their hotel rooms as well as perform various searches for vacancies. Rooms will need to be within a specific range set by NFC standards and once a room is found, the driver can choose the booking directly from his or her vehicle. When the reservation has been confirmed, the navigation system inside the vehicle will alert the driver of their room number and will provide guidance for reaching that hotel. An access code that allows the driver to open the hotel room with their car keys will be downloaded to the car key that is NFC enabled. Drivers will be able to bypass the check-in desk and head straight to their rooms which are paid for during the booking process.

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