Local start-up debuts car fingerprint security system

27 November 2023 - 09:19
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Premium brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, pictured, offer fingerprint recognition in their cars, and in some markets the German brand’s cars use fingerprint biometrics integrated into the MBUX interface to pay for fuel.
Premium brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, pictured, offer fingerprint recognition in their cars, and in some markets the German brand’s cars use fingerprint biometrics integrated into the MBUX interface to pay for fuel.   
Image: Supplied

A Gauteng-based security company, Eagle Eye Defence (EED), has developed an affordable biometric security system for vehicles.

A vehicle owner or authorised user will need to scan their fingerprints to authenticate themselves to start a car fitted with the system. The company plans to launch its product next year with prices ranging from R400 to R580 per month.

Unlike a conventional immobiliser, biometrics are safer because they are linked to a mechanical or software-based kill switch that usually only requires knowledge of where it is before it can be overridden.

“It gives you the ultimate protection consumers are looking for as biometric access is not a luxury but more of a necessity, especially since hijackings have increased from about 38 vehicles daily to around 60,” said EED co-founder Iviwe Mosana.

The system aims to reduce incidents of stolen vehicles.
The system aims to reduce incidents of stolen vehicles.
Image: Supplied

The company said motorists can take their vehicles to EED and installations will be handled by accredited service providers. It’s expected to take about two-and-a-half hours and the placement of the fingerprint sensor will be in a discrete location only known to the owner.

“We would ideally like to position the device in such a manner that by the time someone tries to locate it, we have already arrived,” Mosana said.

If any unauthorised person — be they a criminal or disobedient teenager — manages to start the vehicle, the biometric system will alert the owner through an app on their smartphone and allow them to cut the engine from up to 100m away.

Provisional approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has been given and the system is in the final phase of testing, though EED said it has conducted successful tests internally.

Biometric security is offered by some car manufacturers with extended applications beyond security. Premium brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz offer fingerprint recognition in their cars, and in some markets the German brand’s cars use fingerprint biometrics integrated into the MBUX interface to pay for fuel.   


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