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Carmakers in Germany, China, Abu Dhabi build biometrics into updates

Carmakers in Germany, China, Abu Dhabi build biometrics into updates

Cars keep getting smarter as automakers and tech companies across the globe explore the use of biometrics to improve drivers’ experience, augment automated systems and assist law enforcement.

In the European luxury market, Mercedes-Benz owners in Germany now have the option to make in-car purchases and unlock car feature upgrades through fingerprint scans via the Mercedes Me site. Buying gas is expected later this year, according to a report in JustAuto.

Biometric payment uses Visa’s delegated authentication and cloud token framework, which provides two-factor authentication without the use of a PIN. Visa cardholders can link their cards to their Mercedes accounts.

Upgrades that can be biometrically unlocked include adaptive high beam assist and advanced steering options.

Smile, you’re on exterior camera

The fortunes of Chinese automaker XPeng could be instructive to automakers outsourcing in-car apps. According to Pandaily, a Weibo video shows a driver who was required to provide a facial scan by his electric car — but had to use a camera near the license plate to do so.

The video shows the man kneeling to complete the identity check, and sparked criticism on social media — a bad way to follow a February in which XPeng’s stock slid down.

The EV company — which has been caught in an error before — blamed the issue on a third-party app that triggered a risk-control policy when a new user logged in. The app reportedly was removed from the cars.

Speech recognition for noisy times

On the financial upswing is speech-recognition startup Kardome, which has received a $1 million investment from Japan’s Automotive Fund, a subsidiary of the automotive industry portal Marklines.

“Automotive Fund expects that the need for speech recognition in noisy environments will increase with the spread of robo-taxis and self-driving cars,” according to a fund press release.

Founded in 2019, Tel Aviv-based Kardome develops edge 3D voice recognition software designed for challenging soundscapes. Its software can recognize two or more voices at once even in noisy environments and track individuals in space.

Not quite the Batmobile, but close

Never ones to miss out on a good surveillance upgrade, law enforcement officials gathered at the World Police Summit in Dubai got their first look at a new undercover police vehicle “customized to assist and enhance surveillance, road security, law enforcement, and crime prevention.”

The Kahleej Times reports that Abu Dhabi transportation services firm Tatweer said its sells CCTV surveillance, speed detection and a mobile app to help police track suspects.

Its augmented car has seven cameras, edge processing, vehicles camera on the sides and front, a facial recognition camera on the inner windshield and a speed detection camera on the bumper, says Anas Al Zghoul, head of research and development at Tatweer.

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