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Despite being common on smartphones, it’s taken time for the tech to become car-ready

Hyundai has revealed a new fingerprint authentication system, allowing drivers to unlock and start their car using smartphone-style technology.

The system features two fingerprint sensors: one on the engine start/stop button, and one on the driver’s side exterior door handle.

Hyundai’s system is capable of storing authentication details for two drivers, including three sets of fingerprints for each person.

Set up is similar to the process popularised by smartphones, with the driver placing his or her finger multiple times on the starter button.

Once the door has been successfully unlocked with a recognised fingerprint, the car can move the seat and mirrors to the driver’s preset positions.

Song Dong-joon, a senior designer at Hyundai-Kia’s Namyang Institute, says unlike in a smartphone, an automotive-grade fingerprint recognition system needs to withstand some pretty wild conditions, including extreme heat, dust, rain, and freezing temperatures.

The exterior fingerprint sensor is about four times larger than a smartphone’s, and all communication between the sensors and system’s processor are encrypted.

Additionally because people’s fingerprints change over time, Hyundai’s system is adaptive, updating the fingerprints stored in the registry ever time a user is successfully recognised.

Song states the Hyundai system has a roughly 0.002 per cent, or 1 in 50,000, chance of mistaking one person’s fingerprint for another. This makes it around five times more secure than today’s smart keys.

According to AutoExpress, the system will make its debut in China in 2019 where it will be initially available on the new Santa Fe crossover.



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