February 6, 2015 -
Ford Motor Company was recently granted a patent for a biometric device that uses fingerprints, retinal scans, and voice recognition to gain entry to and start a vehicle, according to a report by Jalopnik.
Patent # 8,937,528 B2, filed in October 2012 and approved in January, details a system that uses a smartphone to connect to a vehicle’s controller via Bluetooth or WiFi to lock and unlock the doors, as well as potentially perform many other functions.
Using a biometric capture device, Ford could authenticate the identity of the driver through different biometric methods, including retinal scan, fingerprint recognition, voice recognition, or facial recognition.
The device could send a signal to the car controller to unlock the door, with the data being collected and stored on the smartphone and then transmitted to the car.
Additionally, more drivers could be added to the database so they too can be authorized to access the vehicle.
The system could also be configured to allow users certain privileges for a specific amount of time, such as in the case of allowing a family member to retrieve an item from the car, or restrict a teenager from driving the vehicle after their curfew.
The new patented device should make it easier for Ford users to share a vehicle and alleviate any dependence on using a physical key to access and start a vehicle.
Previously reported, Ford’s Global Technologies division was granted a patent in September 2014 for a biometric system that can be applied to the steering wheel of future Ford vehicles to authenticate the driver’s identity.