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Hyundai to Add ‘Smart Fingerprint Technology' to Vehicles in 2019

Hyundai to Add ‘Smart Fingerprint Technology' to Vehicles in 2019

Author: Eric Walz   

The Hyundai Motor Co announced a new feature that allows a driver to unlock and start their vehicle using only their fingerprint. The automaker says it's the world's first smart ‘fingerprint technology' which allows drivers to not only unlock the vehicle's doors, but also start the vehicle without a key.

Hyundai plans to implement the technology initially in the upcoming Santa Fe SUV model that is to be released in select markets in the first quarter of 2019.

The new Santa Fe will come with a fingerprint sensor embedded into the door handle. To open the vehicle, the driver simply needs to place a finger on the sensor. Once their fingerprint is scanned, the encrypted fingerprint information is sent to a fingerprint controller inside the vehicle, which unlocks the driver's door when a fingerprint match is detected. Afterwards, the driver can also easily start the vehicle by touching the ignition, which is also equipped with a fingerprint scanning sensor.

The technology keeps track of each driver's unique fingerprint and also provides a customized driving environment for each person. By matching information of driver preference with fingerprint data, the vehicle automatically adjusts seating positions mirrors and connected car features for each driver.

"In the future, Hyundai Motor plans to further expand the application of the technology to allow the adjustment of the climate controls, 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. "This will ultimately offer quality driving experience to each and every Hyundai customer."

Enhancing Security with Capacitance Recognition

Hyundai also addressed the security issues often associated with smart fingerprint technology. The technology uses capacitance recognition, which generates an image of the ridges and valleys that make up a person's fingerprint. The capacitors use electrical current to detect differentials in the electricity level in various parts of the fingertip, which efficiently prevents forgeries and faked fingerprints.

Hyundai says that the technology's chance of mis recognizing another person's fingerprint as the driver's is only 1 in 50,000, which is five times more effective than conventional keys, including smart keys. Hyundai also added the real-time learning of fingerprints with a ‘dynamic update' system, so the fingerprint system can continually improve its success rate.  

Hyundai said it will apply the fingerprint technology in select markets and gradually expand to other markets.  As vehicles become more complex, Hyundai plans to add other customizable technologies to its future vehicle lineup, making them more user-friendly.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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