Smart card key system for motorcycles

It is world's first* smart card key system for motorcycles that improves anti-theft property, as well as enhancing convenience by electronic referencing functions and centralization of all locking functions using the two-way communication.

Aimed at improving the security of motorcycles, Honda has developed the electronically-controlled immobilizer H.I.S.S. (Honda Ignition Security System) that allows engine starting with only the original key. The shutter-equipped key cylinder in that the seat opener function, etc. are centralized as well as preventing tampering on the key cylinder, etc., and applied to various models. In 2004, in an attempt to attain both anti-theft effects and convenience, the first-in-the-world, smart-card-key system for motorcycles was developed and applied to the large-size scooter.

*Based on Honda's researches

Link to Article With Photos Here

Application of a two-way communicating and cross-referencing system.
A steering lock module integrates the steering lock and Smart ECU.

In the Honda smart card key system, the card key that the user carries and the smart ECU integrated into the steering lock module on the vehicle, electronically communicate with each other. Only when the ID is in agreement, the system permits unlocking of the main switch knob, the seat, and the console box, and functioning of the fuel injection ECU.

System configuration

The newly developed smart card key system consists of the steering lock module, LF antenna, UHF receiver, and the smart card key that the user carries, etc. By integrating the smart ECU and the mechanical parts such as the main switch knob, steering lock, etc. into the steering lock module, the simple system construction suitable for a motorcycle has been realized. The system is also linked with the seat actuator, console box, fuel injection ECU, meter, and the turn signals.

Electronic referencing in the smart card key system

When the rider presses either one of the main switch knob, the seat switch or the console box switch, the smart ECU starts functioning. It sends ID signals in LF (low frequency) waves from the vehicle to the smart card key via the LF antenna. As the smart card key receives and identifies the LF signals, it sends the ID to the vehicle in UHF waves. The UHF receiver in the vehicle receives and identifies the UHF signals, allowing the item corresponding to the pressed switch to be unlocked.

Range of unlocking and locking

The unlocking range is an 80cm radius from the main switch knob and limited to 180 degrees to the rear (height within 70~130cm). The locking range of the main switch knob is set at more than a 250cm radius from the center of the vehicle. Considering ease of unlocking and locking a motorcycle, the communicable areas have been designated to satisfy both operations.

Basic description of the system

It is possible to unlock the main switch knob, open the seat, or open the console box just by pressing the switch while having the smart card key on their person. When the main switch knob is turned to ON, the fuel injection ECU exercises cross-referencing based on the ID from the smart card key system.

The smart card key system has made vehicles become more user -friendlier than ever. The system completely eliminates key operation when starting or adding/removing an object to/from a compartment. Taking into account rider operations, while wearing winter gloves, further considerations have been given to the application of a smart card key system into a motorcycle such as, the main switch knob shape, the incorporated torque limiter in the main switch knob, the communication ON/OFF switch attached to the smart card key, etc.

When locking the main switch knob, the locking can be confirmed by answer back. When unlocked, the SMART indicator lamp in the speedometer and the blue illumination around the main switch knob glow, allowing confirmation of the status as well as enhancing cosmetic appearance.

The number of locking and unlocking operations is less than 50%. The security system is aimed at user's peace of mind.

Taking maximum advantage of the smart card key system that eliminates the need of taking out the key and inserting it into the key cylinder, the newly developed system remarkably reduces the number of operations for locking, unlocking and even engine starting. For all locking and unlocking operations, the number of operations are less than 50% (compared to other Honda models), which makes the vehicle significantly more convenient. Furthermore, security is ensured by the addition of the torque limiter, as well as the link with the FI and ECU.

To ride ( unlocking the main switch knob)

As the rider carries the smart card key, comes close to the vehicle, and presses the main switch knob, the smart ECU in the steering lock module starts functioning, and exercises two-way communication with the smart-card key. As a mutual agreement is confirmed, the main switch knob is unlocked (allowing turning of the switch). When unlocked, the SMART indicator lamp in the meter and the blue illumination around the knob glow. As the main switch knob is turned to ON, an ID to allow functioning is sent to the FI-ECU. As the ECU accepts the ID to allow functioning, the vehicle becomes ready to operate.

When the rider dismounts ( locking the main switch knob)

As the rider turns the main switch to OFF, the system communicates with the smart card key at one-second intervals, and as long as both sides confirm an agreement, the main switch knob is kept at an unlocked condition. As the rider goes 250cm or more away from the vehicle, the system locks the main switch knob (unable to turn), and notifies the rider of the locked main switch knob by blinking the turn signals (referred to as an "answer back"). Even when the rider stays close to the vehicle, if left for more than 20 seconds, or if the smart card key switch is turned to OFF, the main switch will be locked.

To unlock the seat

As you press the seat switch, the smart ECU starts functioning, communicates with the smart card key, and unlatches the seat when a mutual agreement is confirmed.

To unlock the console box

As you press the BOX switch, the smart ECU starts functioning, communicates with the smart card key, and unlatches the console box lid when a mutual agreement is confirmed.

Main switch torque limiter

The main switch on a motorcycle is accessible from outside, therefore a torque limiter is incorporated in the main switch knob. When an excessive torque is applied, only the knob turns idle to protect internal switch components.

Smart card key communication ON/OFF switch

The electric waves of Honda smart card key system can be transmitted without being affected by the glass or the wall of a building in most situations. Even when the smart card key is in a shop building or a house, if it is within the communicable range, the engine may be started and someone may unlock the seat or the console box other than the user. Considering the aforementioned situation, the communication ON/OFF switch is provided in the smart card key to allow the user to disable the communication when necessary.

Source: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story