Mercedes-Benz enables private car sharing
Mercedes me is extending its services to include private car sharing: the Mercedes me app Car Sharing allows A‑Class drivers to share their vehicle with a specified group of users. Using the system, friends, family members, or colleagues can book the A‑Class for a fixed period of time.
The authorized user opens the vehicle via the app, by means of the Mercedes me communication module installed in the vehicle. The A‑Class is started with the vehicle key, which is left in the car; temporary use of the car is likewise enabled over the air by Mercedes me. When returning the vehicle, the driver puts the key back in the car and closes the car with the app, which ends the sharing period. The vehicle key in the car can be used only during the sharing period.
The car can also be contactlessly opened, closed, and started using Near Field Communication (NFC). This technology is used by the Digital Vehicle Key. The A‑Class is also available in Germany with a Digital Vehicle Key Sticker with a built-in NFC controller. This means that use of the Digital Vehicle Key no longer requires an NFC-capable smartphone.
First launched in the E‑Class, the Digital Vehicle Key is available as an option for a number of model series. However, not every smartphone has an NFC interface that complies with Mercedes-Benz's security standards. For the new A‑C lass, therefore, there is now a Digital Vehicle Key Sticker with a built-in microcontroller. Customers can order this sticker from the Mercedes me portal. Delivery is through a Mercedes-Benz sales partner.
Once stuck on the smartphone, the Digital Vehicle Key Sticker allows contactless opening, closing, and starting of the vehicle. To start the engine, the driver simply needs to place their smartphone with the NFC sticker in the center console stowage tray. Qi-compatible smartphones (i.e., those with a corresponding receiver coil for wireless charging) are also inductively charged while in the tray.
NFC is an international communications standard for short-range wireless data exchange. Data transfer begins automatically when an NFC-capable device is held close to another device. The Digital Vehicle Key from Mercedes-Benz transfers the authorization to drive the vehicle to a secured and encrypted chip in the phone or sticker. This can then be used as a car key. The Digital Vehicle Key Sticker is also available for a number of car lines with digital vehicle key for smartphone.