Tech Industry Leaders Join Automakers to Share Examples and Visions of the Future of the NFC-enabled Connected Car at VISIONFC Automotive Summit


Your automobile is a connected mobile device.

Yes, it transports you hither and yon, but that’s not what I mean by “connected mobile device.” In the context of “connected mobile device,” I mean it is electronically connected in a variety of ways, including WiFi, Bluetooth and, most importantly, NFC.

The automobile is the biggest, and maybe most important “connected mobile device” in the world. This idea is gathering a lot of industry support. One indication is the gathering of leaders within the connected car ecosystem at the recent NFC Forum VISIONFC Automotive Summit in Vienna.

Over 50 automobile innovators, including representatives from the Car Connectivity Consortium, NXP, Daimler, Continental and others crowded into the inaugural event to encourage the continued broad adoption of NFC technology in automobiles. The event was dubbed by some as the place where the “smartphone meets the dashboard.”

Automobiles’ Rapid NFC Adoption Over The Next Five Years

At the summit keynote, NFC Forum Vice Chairman Alex Rensink shared numbers, noting that less than five years from now, every second car will be a connected car, according to car manufacturers (1). Experts predict that 80% of the world’s economic value will come from connectivity improvements to existing cars, devices, and the Internet of Things.

See all the presentations from NFC Forum’s VISIONFC Automotive Summit

No matter which numbers you believe in, one thing is clear: NFC’s opportunity in the automotive industry will be significant and many successes are gaining ground in the market right now.

The Time For NFC In Vehicles is Now

In a typical automobile with an internal combustion engine, electronics have grown to account for between 30-40% of the total. It is closer to 75% for electric or hybrid electric vehicles. Combine this with the fact that 2.2 billion NFC-enabled handsets will be in use on planet Earth by 2020 (2) and it’s clear that the moment is ripe for the explosion of NFC technology use in vehicles.

Learn more about the NFC Forum Automotive Task Force

The use of NFC in automobiles is limited only by the innovator’s imagination but at this stage, the opportunities could be grouped into three broad categories: Smart Authorization, In-car Payment, and Digital User Experience.

Real-world Examples Of NFC Technology in Automobiles Shared at VISIONFC Automobile Summit

Below are some of the examples of NFC technology use in automobiles that were shared with the audience at the NFC Forum Automotive Summit:

  • Mercedes-Benz and Samsung created NFC smartphone car key to provide tap-and-access user convenience. Drivers with an NFC-enabled Samsung smartphone and secure SIM card could use the Mercedes-Benz companion application to easily access their vehicle. The embedded solution was tamper-proof and the NFC silicon chip was installed into the door handles of the automobile.
  • Visa extended its NFC payment platform, Visa Checkout, to auto makers to make in-vehicle NFC payment experiences easier and faster. Currently in beta-testing with Honda, Visa’s solution allows payment for parking or fuel to be made from the vehicle’s dashboard display at NFC-enabled locations. This powerful technology might eventually be expanded by Visa to other NFC payment experiences, IoT devices, and wearables.

Those are just two ways in which NFC is revolutionizing the connected mobile devices we call cars. Many more are soon to follow.

Source 1: Avnet.

Source 2: IHS