Eindhoven, Netherlands – A new generation of “smart” keys may soon find your car, upload your destinations and tell you how much fuel is remaining in your vehicle. NXP Semiconductors has announced the availability of its production-ready, single-chip technology for multifunction car keys, the KEyLink Lite.

Using near field communications (NFC) technology, KEyLink Lite enables car manufacturers to offer keys that connect to external NFC-compliant devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

The company said that five new applications will be available:

Car finder – The key records the GPS coordinates of the car’s last parking position. This can be read by an NFC-compliant mobile phone, which uses a service such as Google Maps to help locate the car.

Route planner – A destination can be entered on a home computer and transferred via the key. The destination will automatically download into the car’s navigation system, so that programming the destination in the car via a touch-screen or joystick is not necessary.

Car status – Drivers can know how much fuel is in the car before they leave the home or office, and the car’s service history can be stored in the key.

Self-diagnosis – Diagnostic data can be transferred from the car to a computer via the key, then uploaded to a service Web site for a diagnostic analysis.

Car personalization – Manufacturers can pre-fit cars with upgraded services that can later be unlocked by the consumer. Permissions can be obtained from the automaker, such as by an online request, and stored in the car key, which will automatically activate the features the next time the driver gets into the car.

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