New Genesis face-recognition tech will let you unlock the car by looking at it.
Ever lost your keys? Ever get to the car door and realise that they’re not in your pocket? Ever wished, at that moment, that you could open your car using… I dunno… YOUR FACE?!?!?
Well, that’s just what Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury spinoff brand, is proposing to do. The Korean luxury car maker plans to introduce facial recognition tech — just like on your mobile phone — to future models.
Genesis already has fingerprint recognition tech, so the “Face Connect” — which uses a ‘near-infra red’ camera (which means it works at night and in lousy weather) — is the next logical step, we guess. The idea is that the camera, mounted on the door pillar, recognises your face and unlocks the car. While it does that, it also resets any interior settings — stereo, climate, lighting, seat and wheel position — to match your face’s preferences. We assume at this point that your face’s preferences will be the same as for the rest of you, but hey, no guarantees, right?
Genesis says that you can store two faces in your car’s memory banks using the new system, which means that theoretically you will be able to unlock and open your car without using a phone or a key fob.
Once you’re in, you use the existing fingerprint tech to start the engine. According to Genesis, registered faces are encrypted and safely stored in the vehicle without security risk and can be deleted at any time at the driver’s convenience.
It sounds a bit daft at first, but when you think about it, somewhat less so. After all, we hear regular horror stories of thieves being able to steal cars with cloned or boosted keyless entry and ignition systems, so this sort of system would eliminate that threat. Of course, it now means that those same thieves need your face and your fingerprint to access the car, so maybe that’s not so great…
Genesis says: “The technology will even liberate drivers from the need to carry keys with them all the time. If a driver leaves their smart key in the car, the vehicle can be locked using the face recognition system. This allows drivers to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming or running without the hassle of carrying their keys.”
At the same time as developing this new security tech, Genesis says that it’s expanding its over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Apparently, up to now, OTA downloads have been limited to display and infotainment items, such as navigation, digital cluster, and Head-Up-Display (HUD). Now, though, that’s expanding to include “major electronic devices including the electric vehicle integrated control device, suspension, brakes, steering wheel, and airbags.” About which we can only say, have you not seen WarGames, people? This OTA software is one step away from unleashing nuclear missiles (not really…).
The first Genesis that all of this new face-recognition tech will be fitted to? The upcoming GV60 mid-size luxury SUV. Faces at the ready, folks…