Tapkey, creator of mobile-access software innovations, and WITTE Automotive, a global leader in automotive locks, latches, hinges and door handles, have teamed up to propel a world-famous concept car even further into the future: The custom Rinspeed Tesla XchangE, to be displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will now include the addition of cuttingedge technology that allows it to be unlocked with the mere tap of a smartphone.

Tapkey and WITTE Automotive make sexy concept car more accessible

The Rinspeed XchangE—an extensively modified and customized Tesla Model S sedan that promises advances such as autonomous self-driving—stunned the world when it first debuted at the Geneva Motor Show last year. But now that same car—with its sliding steer-by-wire controls and headliner shimmering with 358 individually-controlled LEDs—will bridge the future with the Internet of Things or IoT revolution that is already taking the world by storm.

“It was a natural next step for a car of the future to incorporate the liberating technology that Tapkey brings to the automotive world,” observes Tapkey CoFounder and CEO Gilbert Hoedl. “Tapkey makes it possible for any phone to be transformed into a secure digital key ring, which can work in addition to existing keys or fobs, while opening up entire new worlds of possibilities for everything from social car sharing to fleet management to even direct-to-trunk delivery of packages and groceries.” With Tapkey, companies such as FedEx, Amazon, UPS, DHL and Wal-Mart could gain ad-hoc access to a vehicle’s trunk for secure parcel delivery, by sending a text message to the car’s owner and getting a timelimited digital trunk key.

Unlike other technologies which rely heavily on hardware and on cars that must maintain a persistent Internet connection, the patented technology behind Tapkey is software-based, utilizing familiar digital IDs such as Google and the same kinds of security employed by banks and credit cards. “Tapkey is a great option that allows any authorized user to ‘log in’ to a car easily, without copying or lending a physical key,” adds Hoedl.

“And it even works in places where other access solutions can’t, such as in underground parking garages.” “As the supplier of choice to the world’s best-known vehicle brands, we are uniquely positioned to explore exciting new usage scenarios for today’s connected drivers and the OEMs that serve them,” notes Christian Kaczmarczyk, CEO of WITTE Automotive. “A world where the ability to tap your smartphone to a lock provides a flexible new option for secure access—all at lower cost—is an enticing scenario to these top automotive brands.” WITTE Automotive built the fully functional door and trunk modules that can be seen in the Rinspeed Tesla XchangE, with James Bond-like door handles that extend and retract flush with the car’s skin via a hidden electronic mechanism. The Rinspeed Tesla XchangE with Tapkey technology empowered by WITTE Automotive will be on display at the NXP Semiconductors booth Hall 7 Stand E30 at the Mobile World Congress. Last year’s event drew more than 85,000 people from over 200 countries; comparable attendance is expected for the 2015 event, which runs from March 2–5 at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona

About WITTE Automotive

WITTE Products can be found today in all known car brands. With innovative solutions and technological know-how, WITTE has thrilled its automotive customers around the world for many decades. For these customers, WITTE develops and produces closing and operating systems, as well as hinges and actuators for valves, doors and seat locks and camera modules by WITTE. There are specialized centers of excellence for plastic, stamping and die casting technology to ensure functional, quality, environmental and price excellence. In addition to the four locations in Germany, WITTE Automotive is represented across Europe in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and France. WITTE Automotive’s global presence can be found in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan and Korea as part of VAST, the Vehicle Access Systems Technology alliance. For more information, visit www.witte-automotive.com.

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