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Dublin: 22 °C Monday 15 July, 2019

Your fingerprint could soon unlock your car as well as your iPhone

This technology could put an end to lost keys and vehicle theft.

Image: Newspress

IN THE 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies there was a secret glove box in the BMW 750iL that could only be opened using Bond’s fingerprint. And nowadays we use our fingerprints to open our phones – so why not our cars too?

Yup, that’s right – your car may soon open and start using fingerprint recognition technology. If you’re constantly losing your keys, or worry about your car being stolen, then Biometric Vehicle Access could make things a little bit easier for you.

A biometric sensor will detect your fingerprints and unlock the car. Then, the car will start when you press your fingerprint on a sensor.

And yes: to prevent someone from chopping off your hand or using a fake finger to try and steal the car, the systems are programmed to recognise a pulse as well as blood pressure and body temperature to check you are actually alive. Only then will it actually start up.

This isn’t a new idea at all. Back in 1996 Volkswagen AG filed a patent for a system that uses an optical-electronic image processor to identify an authorised user of a vehicle by recognising a distinctive physical feature of the user and in 2015 Ford Motor Company was granted a patent for a biometric device that uses fingerprints, retinal scans, and voice recognition to gain entry to and start a vehicle.

A vehicle access system requiring biometrics to enter and start a car would stop potential thieves in their tracks. Even if someone did manage to get into your car the car wouldn’t start without the registered fingerprint.

Source: Newspress

At the 2017 CES event in Las Vegas, Continental Corporation (the tyre manufacturers) showed off its access system with biometric elements and showed how biometric elements can also allow drivers to personalise their cars. The system is connected to an interior camera, which recognises the driver’s face and automatically personalises vehicle settings, such as seat and mirror position, music, temperature, and navigation.

You can already buy after-market biometric car access systems online but it looks like it could become a standard feature of cars in the future. And not just those built by Q.

READ: Dear Driver: Which hatchbacks have the best headroom? >

READ: How Volkswagen is developing the car of the future virtually using HoloLens >

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About the author:

Melanie May  /

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