Ultra-Broadband prevents car theft. Unlike conventional keyless go technologies, UWB enables secure communication between car keys and vehicles.
Ultra-Broadband prevents car theft. Unlike conventional keyless go technologies, UWB enables secure communication between car keys and vehicles.
( Bild: NXP Semiconductors)

Ultra Wideband technology Showcase: Ultra wideband technology versus car theft

Author / Editor: Jürgen Schreier / Florian Richert

NXP Semiconductors and VW are exploring together the perspectives for the use of Ultra Wide Band technology in vehicles. Using a concept car, Volkswagen demonstrated the possibilities offered by UWB: e.g. better theft protection and more comfort.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Volkswagen recently provided insights into ultra-wideband technology (UWB) and its potential applications in automobiles. Using a Volkswagen concept car, the companies demonstrated UWB's capabilities for improving safety and comfort in vehicles.

High-precision localization in three-dimensional space

UWB enables high-precision asset localization with maximum data transfer security. UWB can reliably determine the position of an object in three-dimensional space. The low latency of ultra-wideband is another advantage. Up to 100 position queries per second are possible.


In the automotive sector alone, UWB will enable numerous new applications, e.g. automated activation of the trailer coupling, recognition of passengers in the passenger compartment, automated parking, etc. An additional interesting UWB use case is the gamma pattern recognition for car access, which was demonstrated in the VW concept automobile. The Volkswagen UWB car key uses high-precision sensor technology and artificial intelligence to learn personalized user gestures.

According to experts, ultra-wideband represents a significant improvement over other wireless technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. The ability to process contextual information such as the position of the UWB anchor, its movements and the distance to other devices with an unmatched accuracy of just a few centimeters in real-time will also enable a wide range of exciting applications in industry, according to the FiRa consortium, which aims to advance the standard.

UWB enters series at VW

Lars Reger, Chief Technology Officer of NXP: "We see enormous potential in UWB. As co-founders of the FiRa consortium, we are working to improve the technology, advance its standardization and also develop new applications. One potential application that I find very compelling is the UWB key, which replaces the traditional key for the home, office or car."

Maik Rohde, Head of Body Electronics and Passenger Car Access at Volkswagen, sees anti-theft protection as the first UWB application at VW. This is to be implemented in production vehicles from Volkswagen by the end of this year. "But this is just the beginning. UWB, especially in combination with high-precision sensors and artificial intelligence, can bring further advantages. You can experience some of them in our concept car."

This article was first published in German by Brandreite IO.