Hyundai launching smart key system on 2020 Sonata

Hyundai launching smart key system on 2020 Sonata

Users will be able to share virtual car keys using smartphone apps.


New York, New York – Hyundai Motor America will showcase a digital key app for its 2020 Sonata sedan at the New York International Auto Show later this month.

Hyundai’s Digital Key is a downloadable smartphone app that can replace a traditional car key by using cear field communication (NFC) to detect an authorized smartphone. An NFC antenna located in the driver’s door handle can lock and unlock doors while a second antenna for starting the engine is in the wireless charging pad in the center console.

Once authorized, the digital key allows a smartphone to control select vehicle systems remotely using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) communication. A user can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate panic alert, and start the engine within a range of about 30ft of the car.

The key can be utilized by up to four authorized users, facilitating vehicle sharing. Users’ preferred settings are also stored in the car, meaning that when a user is recognized, the vehicle automatically adjusts settings for side mirrors, radio presets, sound settings, and seat positioning.

Hyundai is using Trustonic application protection (TAP) to secure the key. TAP ensures that key transfer requests are securely displayed to and approved by a real, authenticated user on a trusted device. TAP uses a multilayered industry-recognized security approach for communication to and from the customer’s phone.

“Digital key adds convenience for 2020 Sonata owners and allows us to be ready for future shifts in the mobility space, such as car sharing. We chose Trustonic because of their multilayered, industry recognized cybersecurity approach,” said Manish Mehrotra, director of digital business planning and connected operations, Hyundai Motor America.

Car owners will have a deeper level of access than other authenticated users, enabling them to set vehicle-function permissions and the duration of access for each shared user. This enables uses beyond car sharing, such as enabling couriers to access the trunk within a pre-agreed window of time to deliver a package. Future uses that the app could enable include car rentals, triggering an alarm when a vehicle travels outside a designated area and remote control of features, such as autonomous parking.

Trustsonic CEO Ben Cade adds, “Consumers expect to be able to manage their lives on their smartphones, and this includes their vehicles.”