Hyundai recently showed off some new wireless entry ideas using their i30 (Elantra GT for US readers) as the Connectivity Concept. Most of them centred around smartphone technology and the emergence of NFC capabilities in more devices.
The first idea is to use NFC as the entry method, by having an NFC tag in the car (located in the window in Hyundai’s image above) that an owner can swipe their enabled smartphone near to unlock the car doors. This could effectively replace current key fobs as a method of wireless / keyless entry, although the practicality has been called into question as the range of many fobs is far greater than the centimetres range of NFC which would require the user to take the phone out of their pocket. So currently its an apparent compromise in converging the tech into one device – reducing the number of items in your pocket but sacrificing the hands-free entry.
Following on from keyless entry is keyless start up and a centre console will be introduced to place your smartphone; the NFC tag bringing the car to life. This centre console could also feature wireless charging technology, such as Qi, to keep your device powered up on your journey. Another possible feature is for your smartphone to store your preferred driving settings, great for households where there is more than one regular driver of the car. Personal contacts, radio stations and music could all be loaded up but the possibilities don’t end there; future compatible cars and a sister application on the phone could store seat and mirror positions, climate control settings and common GPS routes.
The recent arrival of NFC paired Bluetooth speakers by Sony and others makes me think that this could also be easily introduced for hands-free conversation. So would you swap your keys or fob for NFC entry and start up? Are there other uses for this kind of tech in cars that you can think of?