Tech startup sells to global auto company


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A recent acquisition could benefit the transition to keyless auto technology via smartphone.

DENSO, an automotive technology company, said today it acquired Holland-based InfiniteKey, along with several patents and R&D resources.

The transaction was completed in October.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will enable DENSO to develop and deploy phone-as-a-key technology.

Smartphone-based automotive access is a component of DENSO’s greater strategy as ridesharing and driverless services go beyond the need for keys.

DENSO said InfiniteKey has developed techniques to allow automakers to rely on phones as "passive keys," in the same way they rely on dedicated passive key fobs today.

Unlike key fobs, however, phones as passive key systems enable a broad range of mobility services, such as ridesharing and driverless services, according to DENSO.

“Eliminating the need for physical keys will create a headache-free experience for car owners and ridesharing and driverless services users,” said Bill Foy, SVP of engineering, DENSO International America. “This acquisition brings us one step closer to making this experience a reality and advancing vehicle-access technologies.”

Kevin Virta, CEO of InfiniteKey, said "becoming part of DENSO … means our phone-as-a-key technology can reach the broadest possible penetration in the automotive market."

"We are looking forward to making significant contributions to DENSO’s efforts to lead the way in automotive technologies of the future,” Virta said.


Headquartered in Southfield, DENSO North America is a division of DENSO Corp., a Japanese company with more than 200 affiliates and subsidiaries in 38 countries and more than 150,000 employees worldwide.

Global sales for DENSO totaled $40.4 billion at the end of its last fiscal year, March 31, 2017. 

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