Leaping towards true hassle-free driving Hyundai recently announced a new tech that would let the owners unlock their cars using a smartphone instead of a key.
The tech will be available across Hyundai as well as Kia models and will let drivers ditch their clunky key fobs, thanks to an app. The Korean company explains that the tech uses near-field communication to communicate with an antenna inside the car.
Hyundai’s Digital Key can be used to control selected vehicle systems remotely via their smartphone.
The door can be unlocked by simply swishing the smartphone by an antenna in the front door handle. Once the phone is set by the antenna near the centre console’s wireless charging pad, the ignition is ready. In addition to this, the Digital Key also stores the driver’s user settings and adjusts the mirrors, seats, steering wheel and audio system.
The system debuted last month and will first be seen in the Hyundai Sonata Sedan. The tech, as the company states, was developed in-house using components from global suppliers. On a similar note, German supplier Robert Bosch has developed a similar offering, and short-term car rental company Zipcar is allowing customers to use mobile phones to unlock vehicles they have reserved for a ride.
Once the vehicles with autonomous parking features are commercialized, such features are also expected to be remotely controlled.
“The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,” said Ho Yoo, group leader of Hyundai Motor Group’s Electronics Development Group. “We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience.”
Hyundai’s Digital Key can 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. In addition, once the vehicles with autonomous parking features are commercialized, such features are also expected to be remotely controlled.