Another ‘first’ from Hyundai: launches its Smartphone-based Digital Key!


Hyundai has launched its smartphone-based digital key which uses NFC technology for unlocking the doors and starting the car when its centimeters away.

As the saying goes that the only thing that is constant in life is change. Hyundai, the South Korean automaker has pioneered another change in-car technology. It is set to be the first automaker to introduce the use of mobile apps and smartphones to both unlock and start cars.

Hyundai made this known as it set out to enable its cars with what it called the ‘new digital key technology’ from 2019 onwards. Naijacarnews gathered that this technology will be made available for future models, giving drivers the ability to unlock and start their vehicles using their smartphones.

The new digital key technology will be available as an app for download, allowing the authorising a maximum of four devices.  The Near Field Communication (NFC) technology used has antennas that are built into the front door handles wirelessly communicating with the smartphones while it is being charged also wirelessly in a pad inside the car.


The Smartphone-based digital key uses NFC technology a high-level security tech!

This works when the authorised smartphone is brought in close proximity to the car to unlock it and inserted in the charging pad activating the start button that starts the car when pressed.

Hyundai has taken this to another personal level as the car will recognise preferred individual settings for the different authorised smartphones. Settings like the position of mirrors, seats and the steering wheel, controls for the audio, video and navigation systems, as well as the head-up display are all recognised for different authorised user.

Hyundai’s Head of Operations for the Middle East and Africa, Mike Song was quoted as saying:

“This is a practical application of Hyundai’s connected vehicle technology to create new, genuinely useful functions. Not only will people be able to use their smartphone in place of a key, but they will also be able to authorise other drivers simply by sharing the app, without having to keep track of multiple sets of car keys.”

Car owners will have the ability to set limits for other authorised shared users, setting limits on functions like placing a time-limit for when the key will expire, or setting an alert to warn the owner if the car is being driven too fast or is outside a designated area.

With the introduction of this technology, the convenience in car-sharing schemes will be further enhanced as this has become a trend among car users. When the car-sharing trend fully becomes a part of the mobility and car ownership, Hyundai then plans to enhance the digital key with a programme to support hassle-free vehicle rental. This will make it possible for car owners and drivers to share a key digitally, without the need to meet face-to-face.

This is not to put an end to conventional keys – at least not yet, as Hyundai still plans to make it available in case sharing the digital keys will be impractical. Situations like dropping the car off at a repair workshop, or at those times when you leave it for valet parking services.


Settings like the position of mirrors, seats and the steering wheel, etc are all recognised for different authorised users

The NFC technology being employed for this digital key is a very secure technology as data transmission does not happen except the reader and the device a no more than a few centimetres from each other. This technology has also been successfully utilised in contactless payment using smartphones.

The Group Leader of Hyundai Motor Group’s Electronics Development Group, Ho Yoo, says: “The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,”


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“We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience” He confirmed.

This is not the highest point for Hyundai as it is making plans to be the first car company to introduce smart fingerprint technology that allows drivers to unlock and start the car. This was made known in late 2018, where it said that it will only introduce the fingerprint technology to a select few of its market, and it will be launched with the New-generation Santa Fe, expected in the first quarter of 2019.

>>> You should keep reading Naijacarnews for more car news in Nigeria.

Segun Ogunbiyi


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