Hyundai has announced an industry-first fingerprint recognition system that will allow drivers to unlock and start their cars without the need for a conventional key.
The system utilises fingerprint scanners on the car’s door handle and starter button to grant access to drivers who are registered in the car’s system.
The company claims that multiple drivers’ fingerprints can be registered and that in addition to unlocking and starting the car, it can automatically adjust the seat, mirror, and climate control settings for each user.
Hyundai claims the system has proven to be reliable and secure through its testing, with just a one in 50,000 chance (0.002 per cent) of mistaking one person’s fingerprint for another’s.
Additionally, the system is secured through human capacitance, meaning that if the scanner reads the correct fingerprint but detects no naturally stored electric charge, the system will not grant access to the car.
While the system is similar to that seen on smartphones, Song Doon-joon, a senior designer at Hyundai-Kia’s Namyang Institute, notes that the system needed to be far more heavy duty than those seen on phones, with it needing to be engineered to resist extreme temperatures, rain, and dust.
The system is currently set to debut in China in early 2019 where it will be initially available on the new Santa Fe.