2020 Hyundai Sonata Will Show Off Its Digital Key Tech In NY

Hyundai is getting ready to showcase its Digital Key technology at this year’s NY Auto Show, before launching it in the 2020 Sonata this fall.

The Digital Key is a downloadable smartphone app that basically replaces your traditional car key thanks to its Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for detecting authorized smartphones. There’s also an NFC antenna located in the driver’s door handle, while a second antenna for starting the engine sits in the wireless charging pad within the center console.

Once you’re authorized, the key lets your smartphone control various vehicle systems remotely using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication. You can lock and unlock the car, activate panic alert and start the engine as long as you’re no further than about 30 feet (9 meters) away.

Up to four authorized users can utilize the key, which leads to seamless vehicle sharing. Your preferred settings are also stored in the car, meaning that the vehicle will automatically know to adjust its side mirrors, radio presets, sound settings and seat positioning based on your preferences.

In order to make sure everything is secure, Hyundai used Trustonic Application Protection, allowing for transfer requests to be securely displayed and approved by a real, authenticated user on a trusted device.

“Hyundai has been a leader in connected car technology for a long time now, with new features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Smartwatch and Smart-speaker integration into our vehicles,” stated Manish Mehrotra, director of digital business planning and connected operations with Hyundai Motor America. “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.”

Of course, if you’re the actual car owner, your clearance level is deeper than that of other authenticated users. You can even set vehicle-function permissions, plus the duration of access for each shared user.

As for future applications based on the app, they include car rentals, triggering an alarm when a vehicle travels outside a designated area, plus remote control of features such as autonomous parking.

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  • ctk4949

    Its about time!! No more keyfobs!! Too bad crapple ppl wont be able to use it, lol

    • LJ

      Why not?

      • ctk4949

        Crapple dont allow the use of the NFC other than for crapple pay

        • LJ

          Yes they do.

          • ctk4949

            Hmm im checking my friends crapple phone. I dont see a setting for NFC??

          • LJ

            I have a crapple phone. The NFC works fine.

          • ctk4949

            Really, what do you use the NFC with??

          • LJ

            Me personally? Apple Pay of course, but my wife has used it with (tmi) digital ovulation tests among other things.

            A quick Google search can tell you everything it can read.

          • ctk4949

            hmm they must have added recently. OK I guess u maybe able to use it. lol


    Mark of the beast

    • Adilos Nave

      Oh, keep your stupid fairy tales out of this.

      • .. EL CHAPO THA GREAT 🤴🏻

        Fairy tales? LOL says the guy that’s in LALALA land

  • charlotteharry57

    While this appears to be a lot more sophisticated, I have to laugh at Toyota’s latest Camry ad on TV with the family doing morning rushing and remote starting the car from inside the house and then hurrying off to school. Sure it’s a jab at Hyundai.

  • charlotteharry57

    Expect there to be a LOT of consumer resistance to this for the first couple of years, as there was with keyless entry/start (I remember the first time I encountered THAT on a friend’s new ’07 Camry. My first thought was “have we REALLY gotten that fat and lazy?”). Two possible scenarios that will cause consumers to run away from it:
    1. If the phone is stolen, then the car is too. (I’m aware that this is untrue).
    2. I go out for dinner, leave the FOB at home and drop the phone in the toilet. WHAT a hassle!

  • ME

    Smart idea. I am more interested in the all wheel drive model.

  • brn

    It’ll let me remote start my vehicle from up to 30 feet away???

    My keyfob works at 200 feet. If I choose the option, I can start my car from anywhere in the world with my phone.

    First world problems, but a 30 foot start (less in the real world) distance is pretty useless.

  • William Moran

    It seems like Hyundai and Kia are recalling cars everyday because their cars are catching fire and going up in flames when it starts up. What I want to know is will my Hyundai explode and burn in flames if I start my car with the Digital Key.

  • Blanka Li

    Hacking to begin in 3, 2, . . .

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