Digital key from Marquardt

Platform combines smartphone with a key

The PnD3 digital key platform from Marquardt makes it possible to access off-road vehicles using a smartphone. The German mechatronics supplier showed its latest solutions this week at Agritechnica. The company said the platform combines the latest ultra-wideband technology (UWB) with NFC (Near Field Communication) and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to close the gap between smartphone and driver authorization system.

software With the PnD3 system from Marquardt, the vehicle key merges with the smartphone for operators of agricultural machinery. (Photo: Marquardt)

The company said PnD3 will provide agricultural machinery manufacturers with a flexible, modular solution for different vehicle types and that it also offers safety advantages: for example, the machine’s lights can be activated when the operator approaches. Also, the secure transfer of the digital key can open new possibilities for agricultural machinery rental companies and service providers such as for maintenance, cleaning, loading and refueling.

“The possibility of sharing the digital key simply but securely via ‘key sharing’ also offers quick help in the event of a lost key. It makes it much easier for agricultural machinery rental companies or fleet managers to hand over and return vehicles,” said Jörg Fischer, global product line manager, Smart Access at Marquardt in Rietheim-Weilheim, Germany.

With the Software Development Kit (SDK), the company said unlimited smartphone applications can be adapted to the design of agricultural machinery manufacturers. Marquardt offers a waterproof central control unit (ECU) for agricultural machinery. 

Security against hacker attacks was a focus in the development of the PnD3 platform, said the company. At its core is the new ultra-wideband technology based on the Car Connectivity Consortium Standard (CCC), which has been supported by smartphone manufacturers since 2019. The company said it enables the cyber-secure storage of the digital vehicle key in the smartphone.

“We invested in UWB technology early on and therefore have very deep expertise,” said Wolfgang Stehle, head of Entry and Authorization Systems at Marquardt. “Thus, with a smaller number of UWB modules on the vehicle, we achieve a secure and faster localization of the smartphone near the vehicle thanks to our algorithm. And the 100% compatibility of all our components results in optimally synchronized processes - even in critical situations.”

Agritechnica, organized by the German Agricultural Society (DLG), is held in Hanover, Germany, from 12 to 18 November 2023. Marquardt showed solutions in Hall 17, Stand E57.

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