|Alps Alpine Develops Fleet Management and Digital Key System Using Blockchains|
|Centralized Management of Company Car Reservations and Maintenance Logs Through to Key Delivery and Locking/Unlocking|
|Munich, Germany, November 24, 2020 – Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. has developed a Fleet Management and Digital Key System that improves the operational efficiency of corporate car fleets by enabling central management of all related tasks, including car reservations, maintenance logs and handing over keys. Samples were made available in November 2020. Market research is currently underway and in the demonstration testing stage.
Use of a company car makes it easier to get around and also to avoid public transport, effectively reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19. Even today, however, many companies still use paper forms and spreadsheet software to manage car requests and maintenance logs – a cumbersome process. A physical key also needs to be handed over, undermining the work efficiency of both the administrator and the user.
Alps Alpine’s Fleet Management and Digital Key System lets vehicle users reserve a car, receive a key, and even unlock and lock cars with a smartphone via an app developed in-house, thereby enabling efficient company car usage regardless of the time or place. Administrators, too, can centrally manage vehicle reservations, movements, inspection status and other information on their PC or smartphone using an original management console. The system both reduces hassle for administrators and users, enabling efficient, free-flowing fleet operation, and eliminates paper use, helping to cut costs and lessen the environmental impact.
The digital key system*1 provided by Alps Alpine employs blockchains*2 for key delivery, a technology jointly developed with partner FreeBit Co., Ltd. The method eliminates the risk of unlawful access and data alteration, putting users’ minds at ease.
Alps Alpine has tapped its extensive communication expertise and system development capabilities built up over many years serving the automotive market to deliver a combined single package consisting of a digital key system and compatible onboard unit, as well as a vehicle reservation and locking/unlocking app for drivers and an online system allowing administrators to manage vehicle reservations, movements and inspection status (see Fig.). Design considerations for ease of deployment support retrofitting to vehicles already in service, minimizing initial costs for customers and ensuring suitability for leased vehicles that must eventually be returned in their original state.
With a target to launch sales during fiscal 2021, market research is currently underway, involving demonstration testing with Alps Alpine’s own vehicle fleet and supply of samples to some customers. Efforts will also be made to develop new markets by exploring needs for digital key systems outside the corporate fleet management sector.
For more details, visit the archived site for Alps Alpine’s CEATEC 2020 Online exhibit (available until December 31, 2020. https://online.ceatec.com/event/92/booth/1503
*1) Technology enabling vehicle locking/unlocking without a physical key via a smartphone
*2) Blockchains are a mechanism for decentralized management of data by an unspecified number of users in locations all over the world, making it difficult to alter the data.
|Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. On January 1, 2019, Alps Electric Co., Ltd. and Alpine Electronics, Inc. integrated their businesses and started out afresh as Alps Alpine Co., Ltd with 42,289 employees. Alps Alpine will steadily bring about synergies by drawing on the two companies' advantages in core devices, system design and software development.
The new company will endeavour to create its own unique value for not only the automotive market, but also mobile devices and consumer electronics, as well as new sectors such as energy, healthcare and industry. For more information please visit www.alpsalpine.com
Alps Alpine Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., was established in 1979. Since 2013 the European Head Office has been located in Munich and as such co-ordinates the Sales, Marketing and Product Engineering activities of our offices in Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Paris, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Gothenburg, Frolunda and Milan, as well as the production activities of our manufacturing site in Dortmund. Alps Electric Europe GmbH changed its name on 01.04.2020 to Alps Alpine Europe GmbH.