Hyundai makes Santa Fe security personal

Technology uses fingerprint sensors on door handles and engine start button

Published: December 24, 2018, 4:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:57 PM

Hyundai fingerprint technology

Hyundai is making vehicle security personal, becoming the first auto manufacturer to apply fingerprint technology to vehicle systems, when it launches the door-unlock/engine-start technology on the 2019 Santa Fe compact crossover utility.

Available in select markets in the first quarter of 2019, the system registers a driver’s fingerprints and uses the encrypted data to unlock doors when the driver places a finger on the door-handle sensor. Another reader on the engine-start button again matches the fingerprints to the database to allow the engine to start.

Like many smart systems in today’s vehicles, the fingerprint technology also matches fingerprints to driver preferences, automatically adjusting seats and side mirrors, and calling up connected car features. And, there are plans to expand what the technology controls.

“In the future, Hyundai plans to further expand the application of the technology to allow the adjustment of temperature, steering wheel position, and many other features that will be tailored to driver’s preferences” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development at the Hyundai Motor Company.

The technology uses capacitance recognition, meaning it recognizes and detects the different electric charges in various parts of a fingertip, making the system more impervious to forgeries and false fingerprints (registering a false reading once in 50,000 tries, making it some five times better than keyed or smartkey entry and ignition). And it can improve its success rate as it goes, through “dynamic update,” learning fingerprints in real time.

The system will be available in the 2019 Santa Fe in the first quarter of 2019 in select markets, and gradually expand to other markets.