Hyundai turns your smartphone into a car key

The key, no secret: new digital technology can turn your smartphone into a car key for your Hyundai and Kia – and it launches later this year

Hyundai smartphone digital key

The traditional car key’s days could be numbered, thanks to technology developed by Hyundai. The ‘Digital Key’ app will allow Kia and Hyundai owners to unlock and start their vehicles via their smartphone – and the tech could arrive by the end of the year.

Replacing the physical key, the app can be used by up to four authorised people and could save motorists hours of searching for lost car keys.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology detects the presence of a Digital Key-enabled smartphone in close proximity to the car door, with NFC antennas located in the driver and passenger door handles, along with another one in the wireless charging pad.

The engine is started by the driver placing the smartphone on the wireless charging pad and pressing a Start/Stop button on the dashboard.

The driver’s preferred settings are stored in the car. When the key is recognised those settings are adjusted automatically – including the position of mirrors, seats and the steering wheel, as well as controls for the media and sat-nav systems.

According to Hyundai, once car sharing becomes more widespread, the Digital Key will be developed to support vehicle rental where the owner and the driver won’t have to meet but can transfer the Digital Key via the smartphone app.

Traditional smart keys and cards will also be provided for use at valet services and when the car is at a dealer for a service.

Harnessing connected-car technology

“The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Kia and Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,” said Ho Yoo, group leader of 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.”

Hyundai Motor Group aims to gradually implement the technology in new Kia and Hyundai vehicles, with the rollout starting later this year.

Related Articles

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Writer with a penchant for #FrenchTat. Also doing a passable impression of Cousin Eddie in an Italian-German beige motorhome.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Citroen cuts prices with new ‘Fair Pricing’ strategy

The Citroen Advance UK strategy aims to turn around the brand in the UK, with better value, new cars and a focus on customer satisfaction.

Winter tyres: should you make the switch?

Winter is coming, so should you invest in a set of winter tyres? Here's our guide to choosing the right winter rubber

‘Pretty terrible’ electric car charging app to be shut down

The Polar Instant app will be closed down following negative feedback from EV drivers. A new BP Chargemaster app takes its place.

Rolls-Royce Ghost (2010) review

Short of things to do, we go in search of the nation’s best fish and chips in a Rolls-Royce Ghost. It's how the other half live...