Ford introduces voice biometric-based 3D-printed locking wheel nut
To prevent thieves from stealing rims and tires, Ford has developed a 3D-printed locking wheel nut that leverages a unique biometric signature – the driver’s voice.
To develop the locking wheel nuts, Ford partnered with Eos, an industrial 3D printing supplier. After recording the driver’s voice, software is used to translate the unique soundwave into a printable pattern that can be 3D printed. The pattern is then turned into a circle and the design is used to create the key on the nut. Both are created as a unitary piece, with acid and corrosion-resistant stainless steel used in the 3D printing process.
Second level security features prevent the nut from being cloned or copied. The ribs and indentations are uneven, making it nearly impossible for someone to use wax to copy or clone the pattern, Ford explains, as the wax mold would break when it is removed. If car owners don’t want to use voice prints, they can use items such as their initials or other design inspirations to build the pattern.
Ford’s biometric 3D-printed locking wheel is still in the concept phase, but the company claims it has been working on the solution for a while.
Biometrics for wide range of auto applications were showcased at this year’s CES. According to a new report from HTF MI, the global market for biometrics in automotive applications will go through a massive growth period from 2019 to 2025.