If you’re one to keep up on current auto news, especially regarding the incorporation of advanced technologies, you’ve probably taken note of the emergence of biometric technologies with plans to incorporate such technologies to improve security and create a personalized experience. The former stands as a near perfect example of Plato’s contention that ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’
Over the last two decades, we’ve seen a reduction in traditional key design. Part of the reason in doing so was that keyed locks and ignitions were far too easy to get around. Manually, even a thief with a limited skill-set could pull it off. The integration of fob technology helped to minimize this risk, since evolving vehicles required the presence of the fob (and its transmission signal) to unlock a vehicle, or to fire the ignition.
That said, the evolution of any technology creates an industry designed to beat that technology. Modern theft devices are designed to record the transmission signal of a fob through remote sensors, then play it back enabling a thief to access a vehicle and to operate keyless, push-button ignition. Plato, remember?
And like most problems that require solving in today’s world, Silicon Valley was the first in line to offer a solution, in the form of biometric technologies. Synaptics, a leading innovator in touchscreen technology is intent on the incorporation of fingerprint access on all vehicles. While this is hardly new technology (especially in terms of high-end aspirational vehicles, and aftermarket security enhancements) a widespread roll-out of bio-secure tech feels organic at this point. Everything from handheld devices to laptops are accessed through facial recognition (or thumbprint) and don’t even get us started on the prevalence of Snapchat filters. It’s really no surprise that such technologies are being offered up as the secure solution to vehicle theft.
But it will also provide a streamlined means of managing driver and passenger profiles, stored within the vehicle itself. From seat position to infotainment settings, a biometric key might be the modern means of crafting a bespoke in-cabin experience.
If supported by programmable time-based (when do you drive the car) and geofencing (where do you drive the car) restrictions, such user-specific technology could certainly help to solve the problem of fob duplication. That said, such measures would most likely be combined with the continued use of a fob, creating a multi-level protocol for vehicle access and operation.
Are there questions to ask, problems to solve and scenarios to consider? Of course, there are. But it appears as though we can expect this to be introduced with widespread integration in the immediate future. Of course, theft technology will evolve as well, and advanced security measures will eventually rise to address that, so…get ready for those retinal scans.
No, we’re serious…consider this technology from mirror innovator Gentex.
Welcome to the future…