Bosch is about to launch a new app which turns smartphones into car keys. 'Perfectly Keyless' replaces the analogue vehicle key with one that Bosch says 'is digital, impossible to lose or steal, and stored securely and specifically for each user in a smartphone app'.

Perfectly Keyless is a vehicle entry system that uses a wireless connection to on-board sensors to identify the security key. The car door unlocks once the driver is less than two metres from the vehicle, activating any predetermined individual settings, such as those for the rear-view mirror and seat position.

Bosch says that Perfectly Keyless offers owners of private vehicles increased convenience, but claims that 'where it really shines is in vehicle fleets with multiple drivers'. Fleet managers will no longer have to coordinate complex key handovers or manual adjustments of settings. They can simply use the app to give drivers access to the vehicles.

Harald Kröger, President of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division, said: "Our Perfectly Keyless app makes conventional vehicle keys a thing of the past, taking it into the digital realm and making it available anywhere, anytime.

"Thanks to Bosch's fully digital key management, logistics providers enjoy both security and flexibility in their planning. This is the only way the logistics of the future will be able to function efficiently".

Perfectly Keyless generates a personal, secure digital key and sends it via the cloud to the vehicle  and to the driver's smartphone. This digital key uses sensors installed in the vehicle to open, lock and turn on the ignition of the vehicle when the assigned driver is within range.

In the future, the smartphone key will work even if the phone battery is dead using near-field communication (NFC), a wireless protocol for sharing data over short distances. If the smartphone carrying the app is lost or stolen, the digital key can be deactivated online, blocking access to the vehicle.

Bosch believes there is a huge fleet market for its solution, which is being premiered in the UK at Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event, 2018 on 12th September.

The technology will also be showcased globally at the IAA Commercial Vehicles event in Hannover from 19th September.