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Hyundai's new Santa Fe gets 'world-first' fingerprint technology

Hyundai claims the addition of smart fingerprint recognition technology to its forthcoming Santa Fe SUV is a world first – allowing drivers to not only unlock doors but also to start the vehicle.

To unlock the car, the driver simply places a finger on the sensor located on the door handle. The encrypted fingerprint information is then identified and delivered to the controller within the vehicle. The driver can also start the car by touching the ignition that is also equipped with a fingerprint scanning sensor.

The technology also provides a customised driving environment by matching precise driver preference information with fingerprint data to automatically adjust seating positions, connected car features, and side-view mirror angles as required.

Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development Division of the Hyundai Motor Company, said, “In the future, Hyundai Motor plans to further expand the application of the technology to allow the adjustment of temperature, steering wheel position, and many other features which will be tailored to…ultimately offer a quality driving experience to each and every Hyundai customer.”

Hyundai says that the use of capacitance recognition, which detects differentials in the electricity level in various parts of the fingertip, efficiently prevents forgeries and faked fingerprints to such an extent that, the company claims the technology’s chance of mistaking another person’s fingerprint as the driver’s is only 1 in 50,000 – making it five times more effective than conventional vehicle keys (including smart keys).

In addition, through real-time learning of fingerprints supported by a ‘Dynamic Update’ system, the fingerprint technology can continually improve its success rate.

Hyundai plans to implement the technology initially in its Santa Fe SUV that is to be released in select markets during the first quarter of 2019, before gradually rolling it out to other markets across the globe.