Watch out for connected cars at MWC 2017

Last updated: 18 October 2019

Mobile World Congress isn’t just about smartphones anymore. In fact, the last few shows have exhibited connected car and mobility applications, too. For example, Mercedes-Benz launched its self-driving car in Barcelona last year. With industry revenues expected to quadruple over the next few years, we thought we’d take a look at some of the innovations that might be on display at MWC17. The technology is advancing with such pace that in a few years we might not be taking about an “automotive industry” at all. A better term to describe the future is “new mobility”.

Virtual car keys (VCK)

Increasingly, our personal and professional lives are conducted through a smartphone, so much so we’re now talking about an era of digital identity. The next generation of vehicles will need to be compatible with mobiles. Car users will be able to open and lock vehicles with a tap of their smartphone screen.

Imagine if you were on holiday and you could rent a car simply through a smartphone app; the convenience and simplicity this could bring might revolutionize our conceptions of car ownership.

Of course, linking the connected car to a person’s digital life means we need to get the security right. That’s why at MWC we’re expecting to see applications that offer robust end-to-end management of user identities, providing seamless vehicle personalization.

Seamless user experience

The driver and passenger experience of the future is going to look radically different, personalizing the car with user preferences and identities to benefit from mobility services. Data from an individual’s digital identity – their music tastes, for instance – will be transported securely from smartphones into vehicles. As we discussed in our MWC sneak preview post, we’re expecting major announcements from manufacturers like Nissan, Ford and BMW.


The big theme on New Mobility is to link connected cars with the digital life of the driver or passenger securely. Car IDs will be linked with the digital IDs of the end user. The VCK is the first example where the key, as part of a digital Car ID, will need to be securely stored on the end user mobile device. Opening a car and starting the engine is a crucial element of any comprehensive mobility app.

If you’re at MWC 17 and you’re keen to hear more about the future of Automotive & Mobility services and the technology behind secure authentication, infotainment and virtual car keys, make sure you pop by the Gemalto stand (2J29, Hall 2). See you there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *