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Digital Key Lets Drivers Unlock, Start 2020 Hyundai Sonata Via Smartphone

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Photo: Hyundai

Hyundai recently unveiled new technology that allows drivers to unlock vehicles with their smartphones. The first car to employ the automaker’s Digital Key system is the 2020 Sonata, introduced earlier this month at the New York International Auto Show.

To use Digital Key, a vehicle owner first need to download it as an app on his or her smartphone. Each car’s Digital Key system can be downloaded by up to four authorized users.

After installing the system, the driver can simply hold the phone near the vehicle’s door. A Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna in the door handle will detect the Digital Key app and unlock the vehicle.

Once the driver is in the car, the engine can be started by placing the Digital Key-equipped phone on the vehicle’s wireless charging pad and pressing a start button on the dashboard.

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Photo: Hyundai

Digital Key stores and automatically recognizes each user’s setting for the seats, mirrors, steering wheel, and infotainment system. The app can also be used to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle.

Thanks to the system’s multiple authorized users and customizability, it will be easy to use for car rental and car sharing. Digital Key can even be programmed to give a courier limited access to open a trunk and leave a package there.

“The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,” said Ho Yoo, who leads Hyundai Motor Group’s electronics development group. “We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience.”

After rolling out Digital Key with the 2020 Sonata, Hyundai plans to start implementing it in other new models as well.

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