At this year’s Guangzhou Auto Show, Hyundai showed its new Santa Fe for that market. In addition to unique rear styling compared to the same model in this country, it’ll also be available with technology that allows owners to unlock and start the car with their fingerprint.
Before you upset your double-double in a fit of luddite disgust, consider that this development is not too far-fetched. After all, most of us already use our fingerprint to unlock a smartphone, tablet, and even front door.
Plans call for a fingerprint scanner to be installed in both the driver’s side door handle and the start/stop button. The exterior unit will permit access to those who have set up their encrypted profile for the car, meaning the Santa Fe will adjust the seat and mirrors to your liking after scanning your digit. This is an extension of current technology that does this right now for different key fobs set up for the same car.
Once in the Hyundai, resting an index finger or thumb on the start/stop button will ignite the engine.
Worried about security? The company is claiming their tests confirm an error rate of 1 in 50,000 which is the same figure Apple gives for its Touch ID sensors. Bet on the car still being equipped with a standard key fob and backup mechanical key, of course. Hyundai says they’ve also managed to crack the issue of weather playing havoc with sensors like these mounted in external locations.
In addition to the biometric technology, Hyundai’s media site in China also describes a voice-activated system that sounds very much like the “Hey, Mercedes” system showing up on new copies of cars from that luxury brand.
According to the details given, drivers of the 2019 Santa Fe in China will be able to speak commands to which the car will react. For example, saying “I want to breathe,” directs the system to automatically open some windows and the sunroof. Note that example was translated using Google, so “I want fresh air,” is probably closer to the actual phrase. We highly doubt Hyundai has suddenly gotten into the asphyxiation business.
It is said the technology – both the fingerprint scanner and voice recognition – will show up in the first half of next year but only in Hyundai products found for sale in China.
By the way, your author believes the rear end treatment on that Chinese-market Santa Fe looks fantastic and would play very well on this side of the pond.
How about it? Would you want the ability to unlock and start your car with a fingerprint?