BMW and NXP Semiconductors, a Philips company, have unveiled a prototype of the world's first "multifunctional" car key.

The prototype product features contactless payment, personalised access control, and advanced functionalities including public transport e-ticketing, to deliver an "enhanced mobility experience".

Powered by NXP's SmartMX security chip, the prototype allows drivers to perform quick, secure and convenient contactless electronic payments with a car key.

Future scenarios could include contactless payments for ad-hoc transactions including general shopping, paying for your petrol, public transport, parking and road tolls.

Prof. Raymond Freymann, managing director of BMW Group Research and Technology, said:

"In cooperation with NXP we are doing research in enhancing the capabilities of the car key into one smart device for access, payment, and services that will simplify the lives of BMW car drivers in future. It will help us to stay in touch with our drivers directly and deliver a complete range of mobility-enhancing services."