NFC in the car

  • Just to kick off this forum.
    I really wanted to use an NFC ring in my car and the first thing that came to my mind was to start the car, unfortunately as much as I love the idea I can't bring myself to circumnavigate the cars security.
    So thinking about it further I would like to use NFC to unlock a secure part in my car that would house valuables. I was thinking that the centre console would be a perfect place, accessible from all areas inside the car and big enough to house the electronics, NFC reader and still enough space to place your phone and wallet in for storage if you want to leave it in the car.
    Just got to source the parts to bring size and cost down.
    I like the Arduino, but it's a bit overkill in some ways, so it may be better to use a PIC18 chip that has good low power characteristics and can run to a NFC reader through SPI or I2C.
    If anyone has achieved NFC reading from anything other than an Arduino, I would be interested in looking at their project.

  • Hi Northan,

    car starting is something that John already does, using an arduino, and something I plan to do.

    You don't necessarily have to bypass any security. I plan to still require the key to be inserted and turned to the usual running position, mostly because I don't want to remove the steering wheel lock, but the key just wont be used to crank the engine, the NFC ring, arduino and a relay will do all of that for me.

    Essentially, im guessing the arduino outputs 12v on 1 wire when an authorised tag is present, if this is the case the 12v from the RFID system above goes to Pin 85, Pin 86 is grounded, Pin 87 connects to the ignition wire and Pin 30 is connected to the starter wire in the ignition circuit. The Pin numbers are obviously on the relay.

    Should be simple really, but I know NOTHING about arduinio's im assuming john has a NFC shield attached to it, but as for code, anyone's guess.

  • As cool as that sounds, I can't see the point of unlocking the car with your key fob, putting the key into your key barrel, turn the key into position 1 - power, for only then to then stat the car by putting your hand in a designated area to start the car. It sounds far simpler to keep turning the key that you already have your hand on to start the car.
    Even so, it would look cool and you would earn major geek points. :lol:

    I looked at the adafruit [url:2lghjop2][/url:2lghjop2] development shield which could be ok but expensive after shipping. Proto pic do one also [url:2lghjop2][/url:2lghjop2] which is ok once you take off the arduino breakouts.

    BTW where did you see John's car example?

  • Yeah, it does add an extra step, but I've always retro fitted start buttons to my cars which also add the same step (al be it, pushing a button rather than using a ring)

    I'm purely doing it for the gadget-ness of it.

    John mentioned in a comment somewhere that's how he was using his and would post up instructions after the KS campaign.

  • Vehicle ideas -

    1. Access - keyless/buttonless entry. NFC sensor in the car door detects the ring's private tag and unlocks the car. Could also start the car, in theory.

    2. Phone mode - NFC sensor on the car door (internal side, as you close the door) detects you're now seated in the car (after unlocking a moment ago). Since the phone is now pairing with the car via Bluetooth, the smartphone app gets notified and goes into your preferred driving mode -
      a) wifi off
      b) handsfree mode on (either speakerphone or bluetooth audio)
      c) start music playing via bluetooth
      d) gps on / launch navigation/traffic app
      e) while connected to a charger, put screen on full brightness
      f) Maybe fire off a Glympse of 15 mins duration if you ok with friends knowing where you're headed

    ...not sure how this idea needs the ring, come to think of it.

  • I'm guessing the most simplistic solution that matches your parameters would be like the small digital safe that's located in hotel rooms these days - just replace the numeric keypad with an NFC sensor.

  • @gth. All those ideas sound slick and cool, and I'm sure modern vehicles adopt similar principles in their development nowadays. Its more about whether it's worth retrofitting an existing car with a reader to start the car?
    I personally think the time, money and effort installing a car start system does not add up, you have to make sure you don't muck around drilling holes or cutting out dash parts and it's all returnable to stock when you want to sell the car.

    After some thinking, a security locked center arm rest fits my criteria, it's big enough to store electronics and valuables in the car, cool enough to quench my geek and not too much that my other half rolls her eyes at the mention of it
    I'm kind of looking to install these parts as a standalone unit that fits under my center armrest. It should look completely invisible and can be removed quickly if needed.
    When pay day comes I might look into this

  • Just bought myself a RFID reader to use with an arduino to kick the little project off.
    When I'm back on holiday I might have a little play :geek:

  • Back from the hols, got the gear and played with it last night. Took me a couple of hours to figure out spi protocol for the arduino as I had not used it before, but I got a working prototype in the end.
    Really quite simple I guess in retrospect, now I need to work on the locking mechanism, friend has a 3d printer and a cnc, so might model something to be machined. I'm really keen to make sure it can be unlocked mechanically in case of bugs or power issues.
    If anyone wants to know what arduino/nfc hardware I used or the what I used for the code, let us know.

  • Community Helper

    I've possibly got it a little easier than most, my weapon of choice is the Australian version of a 68 Dodge Dart which doesn't have a steering column lock. I'll be deleting the ignition barrel from the dash board and the door locks from the doors.
    The challenge will be to integrate a reader in each door, hopefully in the old lock barrel position underneath the painted surface of the car to function as a dual unlock/open point using electric latches and pop-springs. This coupled with shaving off the door handles should make for a bit of a wow factor, I'm imaging reaching out to the door and basically having it pop open towards me.
    Something similar for the boot lid would be cool too.

    The real trick will be embedding the sensor underneath the paint and still leaving it usable, should be interesting!

  • It is also used in Car?