Unlock your car with your fingerprints

It's goodbye car keys as Hyundai brings fingerprint-recognition tech to cars

27 December 2018 - 09:54 By Motoring Reporter
The car can be unlocked and started using the driver's unique prints. Picture: SUPPLIED
The car can be unlocked and started using the driver's unique prints. Picture: SUPPLIED

Hyundai has announced what is claimed to be the world’s first smart fingerprint technology that allows drivers to not only unlock doors but also start the vehicle.

The Korean carmaker is implementing the technology initially in the new Santa Fe SUV that was launched in select markets (including SA) earlier this month, although the fingerprint feature is absent from the SA versions. To unlock the vehicle, the driver needs to place a finger on the sensor located on the door handle.

The encrypted fingerprint information is identified and delivered to the fingerprint controller inside the vehicle. The driver can also easily start the vehicle by touching the ignition which is also equipped with a fingerprint scanning sensor. The technology also provides a customised driving environment. Matching information of driver preference with fingerprint data, the vehicle automatically adjusts the seating position, connected car features, and side-view mirror angles according to the driver.

“In the future, Hyundai Motor plans to further expand the application of the technology to allow the adjustment of temperature, steering wheel position, and many other features which will be tailored to driver’s preferences” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development Division of the Hyundai Motor Company.

Smart fingerprint technology raises security issues, which Hyundai addresses with capacitance recognition that detects differentials in the electricity level in various parts of the fingertip, thereby preventing forgeries and faked fingerprints.

The technology’s chance of misrecognising another person’s finger print as the driver’s is only 1 in 50,000, says Hyundai, making it five times more effective than conventional vehicle keys, including smart keys. Moreover, through real-time learning of fingerprints supported by a ‘dynamic update’ system, the fingerprint system can continually improve its success rate.  Hyundai will apply the fingerprint technology in select markets and gradually expand elsewhere.