Biometrics and the Automobile

biometrics Dec 09, 2019

Automakers are continuously looking for more secure technologies for vehicle entry and ignition. While car theft continues to trend downward in most countries, vehicle security is still a priority for OE manufacturers. This trend is really important for the cars with keyless ignition. Vehicles with a keyless ignition are much easier to break into because it is “relatively” easy to replicate the key fob signal.

Biometric authentication, a technology that verifies your identity using biological markers like fingerprints, face-recognition, or eyes, will be a replacement for key fob’s in the future because biometrics are unique to each individual and can be difficult to replicate when implemented properly.

One OE manufacturer, Hyundai, has already integrated fingerprint scanning into two of its models in China. The Hyundai system lets drivers enter the vehicle and turn on the ignition without a key. This new system does not require a key fob, smartphone, or wireless key card.

Porsche is collaborating with Intel-backed edge computing startup to build an automatic car unlocking system that uses an infrared camera. The system relies on multifactor authentication, meaning that users have to confirm their identity a second time using their phone or another device.

Apple is also apparently working on integrating its Face ID technology to secure vehicles, according to a patent published by the company. See image below:

As shared mobility services increase, identity verification will become much more important, especially after the recent report from UBER about driver misconduct and assault cases. Biometric authentication will help verify the identities of both drivers and passengers.

Biometrics could read a driver and passenger’s ECG/EKG to provide real-time information on their health to help identify potential medical issues before they occur. These sensors could be integrated into the steering wheel, where they can track changes in heart rate and rhythm, stress levels, fatigue, respiration, and atrial fibrillation.

These measurements could provide drivers and passengers with real-time insights into their health and can also work with driver monitoring systems to detect and intervene when drivers are fatigued or fall ill.

There are many OE manufacturers such as Byton that are leveraging biometrics to personalize the in-car experience. For example, a vehicle with this technology, could detect which of its owners is entering the vehicle based on his or her biometric indicator, then adjust comfort settings based on the driver’s personal preferences.

Pretty cool stuff…

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