In this digital age, physical items have become less of a necessity. For example, paper money has gone the way of the dodo for many of us, replaced by alternatives like Apple Pay that allow us to cover costs using just a smartphone.
This type of innovation is also making its presence felt in the automotive world.
On that front, Hyundai has announced the development of a digital key that’s designed to replace the traditional key fob. This feature allows users to lock, unlock and start their Hyundai vehicles without the presence of a key fob, using just a smartphone.
To use Hyundai’s digital key, you’ll need to download an app to your smartphone. The app can be used by up to four different smartphones.
Hyundai’s innovation uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to detect whether there’s a cellphone with an authorized digital-key app near the vehicle door. There are NFC antennas located on the handles of the vehicle’s front doors. Inside the cabin, there’s an antenna located on the vehicle’s wireless charging pad.
Once you’ve unlocked the vehicle, the first step in firing up the engine involves placing the smartphone on the car’s wireless device charger. Next, press the engine ignition button located on the vehicle’s dashboard. This allows you to start the engine, even there isn’t a key fob present.
Preferred Settings and Customized Access
Hyundai’s digital key allows each user to store preferred vehicle settings for things like the position of the car’s mirrors, seats and steering column. Once a user enters the vehicle, the car recognizes his or her preferred settings and makes the necessary adjustments.
This technology also allows each user’s access to be customized. For example, if you were loaning the vehicle to another driver, the digital key would allow you to limit that driver’s access to the duration of the loan.
The first vehicle to feature Hyundai’s digital key will be the 2020 Sonata.
It sounds like key fobs will eventually join CDs and DVDs in the dustbins of history. Hyundai’s digital key is an exciting innovation that modernizes car ownership.