You’ll soon be able to unlock your new Hyundai or Kia with your smartphone, once Hyundai’s digital key rolls out later this year.
Hyundai Motor Group announced it has developed a digital key in place of a physical fob, which uses near-field communication (NFC) technology.
The system works with the car first detecting the presence of an authorised digital key-enabled smartphone in close proximity to the vehicle door.
The NFC antenna for entry identification will be located in the driver and passenger door handles, while the one for starting the engine is located within the wireless charging pad.
After unlocking the vehicle, the user can start the engine by placing the smartphone on the wireless charging pad in the centre console and pressing the engine Start/Stop button on the dashboard.
No mention was made on what happens if the phone containing the digital key is lost.
According to Hyundai, the car will remember the user’s preferred settings, including mirror, seat and steering wheel positions, as well as controls for the audio, video and navigation systems and head-up display.
Hyundai’s digital key can also be used to control other vehicle systems remotely via their smartphone.
Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), users can lock or unlock the vehicle, activate the alarm and start the engine.
In future, vehicles with autonomous parking features can also be remotely controlled, Hyundai said.
In other use cases, a vehicle owner, using Hyundai’s digital key, can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when renting the vehicle.
That let’s, for example, a courier to open only the car boot to deliver a parcel.
Car sharing could be further simplified since the owner and the driver won’t have to meet but can simply transfer the digital key via the smartphone application, Hyundai pointed out.
In car-sharing instances, the digital key will, in future, trigger the car alarm when the vehicle exceeds a defined speed or travels outside a designated area.
A conventional smart key and card type key are also provided if handing over the digital key is not feasible, Hyundai said.
The company aims to gradually implement the technology in its new production vehicles, starting later this year.
“The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Kia and Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,” said group leader of Hyundai Motor Group’s Electronics Development Group Ho Yoo.
“We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience.”