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Biometrics Could Eliminate Car Keys

Leading automotive brands such as Hyundai are planning to launch the first models of cars this year that can be opened without the need for keys, thanks to a built-in fingerprint reader.

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Leading automotive brands such as Hyundai are planning to launch the first models of cars this year that can be opened without the need for keys, thanks to a built-in fingerprint reader.

It is an open secret that biometrics has all the roles to become the future of authentication. Estimates like that of the Juniper Research consultancy reveal that mobile biometrics will increase by 2,500% in the next five years, revealing that more than 80% of smartphones will be equipped with some kind of biometric hardware by 2023. But to conceive that biometrics – already be it by voice, iris, fingerprint or other- is circumscribed to mobile is a big mistake: it will reach all kinds of connected devices and linked to the Internet of Things, including smart cars.

The first brand that has announced the launch of a car with built-in fingerprint reader, which will allow you to unlock doors and start the engine, this is Hyundai. The company has announced that the technology will be initially available in its Santa Fe 2019 model, although it will only offer this particular feature in select markets – still unknown – in the first quarter of 2019 before promoting the expansion of this biometric benefit.

The fingerprint sensors will be located on the door handles, as well as on the power button, providing Hyundai a much higher security than traditional car keys. The firm says that the possibility of confusing another person’s fingerprint with that of the real driver is 1 in 50,000, which makes it five times more effective than conventional vehicle keys, including smart keys.

The more the sensor is used, the more technology will be optimized to detect the driver’s digits and ensure that they are the ones who try to access the vehicle. This fingerprint technology can also be used to create profiles for different users who drive the car, automatically adjusting the positions of the seats, the characteristics of the connected vehicle and the angles of the side mirrors to suit the requirements of each driver in particular .

The Head of the Hyundai Research and Development Division, Albert Biermann, told TechCrunch that there are “plans to further expand the application of the technology to allow for temperature adjustment, steering wheel position and many other features that will be adapted to the driver’s preferences. ” At the moment it is unknown if this biometric novelty will be a standard feature or an optional extra.

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