Volkswagen ropes in Trustonic to secure connected car Passat keyless access system

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With an aim to make access of car with smartphone secure, German carmaker said it is working with cybersecurity firm which deals in mobile application and security to bolster the security of its ‘We Connect’ in-car infotaintment platform.

Under the partnership, Volkswagen will use Trustonic Application Protection (TAP) platform to secure the mobile app and ensure that sensitive information and key transfer requests are securely displayed to, and approved by, a real authenticated user on a trusted device and not by hackers or malware simulating a user or device, said the company.

With smartphone likely to become the key of connected vehicle in future, Volkswagen has launched ‘We Connect’ service which functions as the interface between smartphone of the car user and company’s infotainment platform. The feature which is available in new Volkswagen Passat offers a keyless access to various functions of the car. With Trustonic Application Protection, the carmaker said it is makeing the platform cybersecure.

In Volkswagen Passat, to use keyless feature, the user needs to install ‘We Connect’ app on their smartphone which is then authorized via the infotainment system with a Transaction Number. The mobile key is compatible with Android-based Samsung devices. Also, no mobile network connection is required to use the smartphone as a mobile key.

All the user needs to do is place the smartphone near the door handle, in the same way as the current keyless locking and starting system ‘Keyless Access’ opens the Passat.

To start the engine, the smartphone is placed in a new compartment with an interface in front of the Passat’s gear knob. It is also possible to send the mobile key to friends or family via the app so that they can also use their smartphone as a key for the car.

“Connected car innovations like Volkswagen’s project are exciting, but the risk of malicious hacking or malware attacks, including the possibility of vehicle theft, have serious ramifications,” said Ben Cade, CEO at Trustonic.

“Trustonic Application Protection is enabling the Volkswagen Digital Key team to develop their key sharing app with the strongest user authentication and advanced app protection, and to use features like our Trusted User Interface to give customers a frictionless user experience,” said Cade.

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