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Hyundai introduces fingerprint technology to start vehicles

By Clyde Hughes
New Hyundai Santa Fe models in China will include technology that allows car owners to use their fingerprints to unlock and start the vehicles. Photo by Roman Seliutin/Shutterstock
New Hyundai Santa Fe models in China will include technology that allows car owners to use their fingerprints to unlock and start the vehicles. Photo by Roman Seliutin/Shutterstock

Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Hyundai rolled out its newest Santa Fe model it will sell in China, boasting fingerprint technology to unlock and start the vehicle.

Albert Biermann, president and head of research and development division of the Hyundai Motor Company, said in a statement that the company plans to expand the use of the technology to affect more of the driving experience.

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"In the future, Hyundai Motor plans to further expand the application of the technology to allow the adjustment of temperature, steering wheel position, and many other features which will be tailored to driver's preferences," Biermann said.

"This will ultimately offer quality driving experience to each and every Hyundai customer," he added.

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The South Korean automaker showed off the new Santa Fe SUV at an auto show in China earlier this month. Hyundai said several users will be able to download their fingerprint data into the vehicle, which will be encrypted, the technology website Engadget reported.

So far, Hyundai is limiting the fingerprint option in China for the first quarter of 2019. Updates will be made slowly with plans to expand vehicles with the technology to more markets, the company said.

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Digital Trends reported Hyundai uses technology that incorporates capacitance recognition, which detects differences in the electricity level of various parts of the fingertip. Hyundai said that because of the technology, car thieves would need the owner's actual finger and not just a copy of the fingerprint to hack the vehicle.

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The company said there is a one in 50,000 chance that the technology would allow anyone other than the owner to unlock the door or start the vehicle.

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