Toyota’s Smart Key Box Opens, Starts Cars

The Smart Key Box app is installed without modification into a car's dashboard and enables car-sharing via Bluetooth.

Smart Key Box

Toyota has invented a Bluetooth-enabled device called the Smart Key Box that allows its users to unlock and start the vehicle’s engine using their smartphone.

The Verge reported, that the device is just the kind of innovation that shows why Toyota, which is locating its North American headquarters in Plano, is the world’s largest seller of cars.

Toyota intends to test the new technology in a limited pilot next year in San Francisco in partnership with a peer-to-peer car-sharing service called Getaround, The Verge reported.


How does the device work?

A car owner who would like to make extra money by lending their car to other people can install the device on the vehicle’s dashboard with any modification needed. The car-share customer receives a code from the owner via the app to access the Smart Key Box. Once the smartphone is brought close to the vehicle, the codes are authenticated via Bluetooth, which Toyota calls a “handshake.”

Toyota manages the time and period when the user can access the Smart Key Box based on the vehicle reservation, The Verge said.

Smart Key Box

Here’s a diagram of how the Smart Key Box works. [Illustration Courtesy Toyota]

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