Biometrics reach mass auto market as Hyundai to sell SUV with fingerprint tech in China in 2019

Hyundai and Osram Opto Semiconductors have each announced new biometric technologies for the automotive industry, which could enable users to unlock and start vehicles without using a key.

A fingerprint authentication system developed by Hyundai Motor includes sensors on the door handle for locking and unlocking, and another on the dash to start the engine, Korean publication Pulse reports.

The company says the system is the first of its kind in the world, as door unlocking has been a challenge. Hyundai engineered the fingerprint scanner on the door to withstand weather conditions ranging from a snowstorm to scorching sunlight, according to the report. The system also automatically adjusts the vehicle driver’s seat and mirrors according to the driver’s preferences.

The Hyundai Santa Fe will be launched in China next year with the technology, with a global roll-out planned after the company evaluates consumer response.

Osram Opto has developed a pair of infrared LEDs to enable iris and facial recognition for automotive applications, reports eeNews Europe.

The new Synios SFH 4772S and 4775S A01 are 2.0×2.8×0.6mm Lambertian emitters that are approved for temperatures up to 125 degrees Celsius. They could be used to unlock doors, disable the engine immobilizer, and set personal preferences such as seat position and radio station for different users of the same automobile with iris or facial biometrics.

The Synios SFH 4772S A01 is designed for iris scanning systems, emitting infrared light on an 810nm wavelength, for an optical output of 1070mW at 1A. The 4775S A01 is suitable for a range of applications including facial recognition and driver monitoring, eeNews reports, with a wavelength of 940nm. It produces an output of 1650mW at 1.5A, and can handle high pulse loads up to 5A.

A growing number of companies have launched biometric technology for the auto industry, recently including Fingerprint Cards and Infinity Optics. Synaptics Vice President of Marketing Godfrey Cheng told Biometric Update during a demo of the company’s automotive fingerprint technology that biometrics will reach consumer’s dashboards within 18 to 24 months.

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