Hyundai Motor Group has announced that it is working on a ‘Digital Key’ that will allow users to unlock and start their Hyundai vehicle through their smartphone. The new Hyundai Digital key can be downloaded via an app and will replace the traditional physical key and it can be used by up to four people after authorization. The Digital Key can be downloaded via a cell phone application and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology detects the presence of an authorized Digital Key-enabled cellphone in close proximity to the vehicle door. The NFC antenna for entry identification is located in the handles of the driver and front passenger’s doors, whilst one for starting the engine is located within the wireless charging pad. The new Digital Key by Hyundai can also be used to control selected vehicle systems remotely via their smartphone. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication, users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the alarm and start the engine.
Another benefit of the Hyundai Digital Key is that once the vehicles with autonomous parking features are commercialized, such features are also expected to be remotely controlled. After unlocking their Hyundai, the users can also start the engine by placing the smartphone on the wireless charging pad in the center console and pressing an engine Start/Stop button on the dashboard. The user’s preferred vehicle settings are stored in the vehicle. Once the key is recognized, the settings are adjusted automatically including the position of mirrors, seats and the steering wheel, as well as controls for the audio, video and navigation (AVN) systems and head-up display.
The level of access to different vehicle functions can be tailored to each user, for a defined period. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when renting the vehicle. For instance, it can even be used to enable a courier to open the trunk to deliver a parcel. Once car sharing becomes more widespread, the Digital Key will be further programmed to support hassle free vehicle rental where the owner and the driver won’t have to meet but can transfer the Digital Key via the cell phone application.
For cases such as using a valet service or visiting a repair shop, where handing over a digital key is not feasible, conventional smart key and card type key are also provided. The new Digital Key will be implemented in Hyundai’s new production vehicles, starting later this year.
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