Author: Jack
POSTED ON 27 Dec 2018

Is Fingerprint Readers to Unlock Your Car the Future?

It seems that manufactures these days are trying to discover more and more ways to throw more technological features into production vehicles. Motorized rear view mirrors, paddle shifter on automotive transmission (of course we are talking about basic automatic transmissions and not PDKs or DCT), electronic parking brakes, voice recognition.. you get the point.

Starting next year, the new Hyundai Santa Fe SUV will have a new feature that will allow owners to unlock and start their car with just their fingerprint. Owners will have to register their fingerprint into the cars memory in a similar to how you would on your smartphone. Once registered, the touch sensors on the door handle will allow you to open it, and the sensor mounted on the dashboard or center console will start the car.

It’s currently not clear if you will still need to have the key near by for the features to work similar to a key-less entry system – which in hindsight would make the whole fingerprint entry redundant. Looking back at the similarity of the fingerprint readers on smartphones, unlocking your phone with it is incredibly convenient- however unlocking your car and starting it up with it is an entirely different thing. Since we always have our smartphones near buy, the possibility of someone “stealing” your fingerprints to open it seems a bit far-fetched.

But what about your car? They say the risk of mistaking the wrong fingerprint for a correct one is one in 50,000, and extra features will measure the specific electrical current in your finger as it touches the sensor thus overcoming the possibility of someone using a fake latex fingerprint in theory. However is this really even necessary to begin with? It’s incredibly difficult to see this type of technology being practical or more practical than today’s key-less entry systems. So what’s the point besides perhaps showing off to your neighbors that you can unlock your car and start it with only your fingerprints?

Guess by this time next year, we shall see if this new technology takes off, or is destined to be another interesting, but useless gimmick.