Hyundai has launched a world first in smart car technology using fingerprints instead of car keys. Not only does it allow drivers to unlock car doors but also start their vehicles. The plan is to initially implement the fingerprint scanning technology into the new Hyundai Santa Fe SUV model due for release in selected markets during the first quarter of 2019. Future plans are also in place to include a customised driving experience based on personal preferences.
How Does Fingerprint Scanning Technology Work?
The fingerprint sensors are located in the door handles of the car and in the start button on the dashboard. Unlocking the vehicle only requires the driver to place a finger on the door handle sensor. From there, the system identifies the encrypted fingerprint information which is delivered to the fingerprint controller inside the vehicle. To start the car, drivers simply touch the ignition that is also equipped with a fingerprint scanning sensor.
At the same time, the technology provides a customised driving environment by matching driver information with fingerprint data. Touching either of the sensors will switch the car to the driver’s personal profile. This includes adjusting the seats, side mirrors, and connectivity settings to suit your own preferences. Looking ahead, it will extend to personalised cabin temperature, steering column position, and other adjustments.
According to Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development Division of the Hyundai Motor Company, “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. This will ultimately offer quality driving experience to each and every Hyundai customer.”
Is The Hyundai Fingerprint Technology Safe To Use?
While many have raised questions around security, Hyundai has addressed all of the issues and deems their smart fingerprint technology safe. The system has capacitance recognition that detects differentials in the electricity level in various parts of the fingertip. As a result of this advanced feature, the fingerprint technology can efficiently prevent forgeries and fake fingerprints.
In fact, the system boasts a 1 in 50,000 chance of mistaking someone else’s fingerprints as your own. This makes it five times more effective than conventional keys and even smart keys. While these are pretty impressive stats considering the system’s infancy, Hyundai will improve the system using real-time learning of fingerprints. Supported by ‘dynamic update’, the technology will continuously refine your fingerprints every time you use it.
Any car technology must be mature and effectively proven before manufacturers build it, especially when replacing such an integral component such as the key or key fob. While Hyundai’s press release didn’t reveal any additional entry methods, one can assume there must be a key fob or smartphone option as well. If there is only fingerprint access, it would be impossible to let your friends or family members drive.
Besides the finer details of additional entry methods, this is a massive win for Hyundai introducing a much-improved fingerprint sensor. Perhaps the days of losing our car keys and calling a locksmith or roadside assistance are over.
Hyundai continues to lead from the front with plans to implement more technologies for their future car line-up. They want to cement their technological leadership in the mobility market and the fingerprint scanner is a big step in the right direction. While the technology is only set for the new Santa Fe, we will keep you updated on any developments. Follow our blog or join us on Facebook and be the first to hear all the latest automotive news from around the globe.