Apple Secures Patent That Uses Facial Recognition To Unlock Vehicles

Apple has obtained the rights to a facial recognition system that can be used to unlock a vehicle without a physical key.

Futurism reports that Apple filed for the technology in early 2017 and that it was only recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on February 7 under the title “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization.”

The patent details two ways a user could use facial recognition to unlock their vehicle. The first would be to install the required technology on the vehicle itself, allowing the user to simply stand in front of the sensors and have their face scanned before opening the door and stepping inside. Alternatively, a user could use the Face ID unlock feature available on their Apple smartphone (from the X onward) to unlock the vehicle.

In addition to simply unlocking the vehicle, the facial recognition technology can remember specific vehicle settings for different users. For example, if the vehicle’s owner has their face scanned, the vehicle could automatically adapt the music, seat position, and climate control preferences.

It remains to be seen how likely Cupertino is to bring this technology to the market. Towards the end of January, Apple dismissed more than 200 employees involved in its autonomous vehicle group dubbed Project Titan and this move was interpreted by some as a setback (or even worse) for its lofty automotive ambitions.

We have seen at least one similar facial recognition systems implemented before: in the Faraday Future FF91 prototype. However, the chances of that EV hitting the market are slim to none. Consequently, the only production vehicle we know of to use biometrics to grant access is the new Hyundai Santa Fe bound exclusively for China. This vehicle includes fingerprint sensors to unlock the doors and start the engine, though, and not facial recognition.


  • Momogg


    • Perry F. Bruns

      With a side order of people potentially scanning your face and taking your car.

      • Bob

        Only if they can defeat a live-test feature which Apple will surely implement. I’d like to see if they’ve catered for all possible use-cases on the car and whether the benefits will outweigh some of the drawbacks that could come with the implementation of this technology.

        • Perry F. Bruns

          Let’s hope. FaceID on iOS hasn’t fared as badly as I feared it would.

          • rodriguez256

            I trust Apple with David and touch than any other company when it comes to privacy. So far they have shown that they care about consumers security. Only time anything negative as come along is when someone is able to hack their software. Unlike others who willingly sell and give out important information.

  • Bash

    What is the secret behind the 9:41?

    • rodriguez256

      I believe that’s the time it was announced. They do the same thing with iPhones, iPads, iPods etc.

      • Bash

        Every time? i mean always same time!

  • salamOOn

    aaah, apple and their “patents”. we dont have a product, we dont know how to make it, just draw it on the paper and get patent for it. and when somebody actualy make it real, cha-ching!

    • rodriguez256

      Is that really what you think goes on when they secure a patent?

  • ksegg

    I always found having my keys in my pocket with keyless-entry to be such a difficult process towards unlocking my car.

    It’s such a drag just walking up to the car and opening the door.

    I need more a more complicated and unreliable method. I’m so glad Apple is once again at the fore-front of technology to make my life ever so interesting.

    BTW does anyone want to buy a $6000 iPad off me. I got it on sale.

  • LeStori

    Hopefully it will not work if the head has been removed from the torso…

    • rodriguez256

      It won’t work, just like cutting someone’s finger off won’t bypass apples fingerprint scanners.

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