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Hyundai Motor Group have developed a 'Digital Key'. This key can be downloaded via a smartphone application, and it allows for owners to unlock and start their vehicles via their smartphone. The new digital key can be used by up to four people.
Near Field Communications (NFC) technology detects the presence of an authorized cellphone in proximity to the vehicle door. Two NFC antennas are located in the handles of the driver's and front passenger's doors, and one for firing up the engine is located within a wireless charging pad in the center console. The vehicle can be started by placing the smartphone on the charging pad and pressing a Start/Stop button located on the dashboard.
The Digital Key can be used by up to four people. Individual driver settings are stored on board and when a key is recognized, those settings are adjusted for that particular user. These include mirror positions, seats, steering wheel settings, audio and video controls, Sat-Nav setting and ambient temperature settings.
Hyundai's Digital Key can be used to control vehicle systems remotely. Users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the alarm and start the engine. Hyundai is working towards an automated parking feature, and once commercialized, it is expected to be remotely controlled. In the interim, the Digital Key will be enhanced and upgraded to allow an alarm feature that triggers when the vehicle exceeds a pre-defined speed or travels outside a designated area.
The key can be programmed to support easy vehicle rentals once car sharing is widespread. The owner and the driver do not have to meet to hand over a key. The Digital Key can be transferred via the smartphone application. This technology makes it easier for Hyundai to be included in car-sharing programs.
Of course, Hyundai will still cater for conventional keys and possibly smart cards to be used when transferring the Digital Key is unfeasible. Visiting repair shops and using valet services are examples.
Group Leader of Hyundai Motor Group's Electronics Development Group, Ho Yoo said, "The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing.We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience."
Hyundai Motor Group said they would implement the technology later this year.
Thoughts About Hyundai's Digital Key
We think it's a good thing to carry lesser keys around. Fantastic technology that will help players in the rental space.
NFC is a form of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which boasts a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.