Biometrics Will Render Car Keys Obsolete by 2025

By 2025, advancements in biometrics will radically transform the driving experience; health, wellness and wellbeing of the driver and the security of vehicles, according to Frost & Sullivan’s "Biometrics in the Global Automotive Industry, 2016-2025 analysis."

According to the study, one in three new passenger vehicles will feature one or more biometric features by 2025, such as fingerprint recognition, iris recognition, voice recognition, gesture recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain wave monitoring, stress detection, fatigue monitoring, eyelid monitoring, facial monitoring and pulse detection.

These will be driven by built-in, brought-in and cloud-enabled technologies. Brought-in biometrics will play a key role in the future of in-car health, wellness and wellbeing monitoring. Built-in biometric technologies will primarily drive advanced driver-assistance systems and vehicle security, and cloud analytics will generate actionable insights and send notifications during emergencies.

Biometrics in vehicles are expected to show a compound annual growth rate of 38.3 percent up to 2025. The study found that the cars of the future will use biometrics to authenticate an individual, as well as to identify individual behavior patterns. The data will, for example, be used to automatically adjust the car’s seat height, steering position and rearview mirror, as well as play favorite music and retrieve health records. Behavior patterns of multiple users can be stored.

Biometrics such as fingerprints, palm vein, facial recognition and heartbeat detection will be used for vehicle security. These features will be used for secure vehicle entry and for ignition authentication, which will render the traditional car key obsolete by 2025—meaning if your kids don’t know what a postage stamp is, it is likely theirs won’t know about the existence of car keys.

New business models within the automotive industry, such as device-as-a-service and health-as-a-service, will also emerge, the study said. “Urbanization will continue to fuel the emphasis on biometrics driven advanced driver assistance system features to navigate heavy traffic, while ensuring safety and comfort,” it said. “However, customer concerns surrounding the safey of the sensitive data collected through biometrics will compel suppliers to also invest in cybersecurity measures to build credibility and increase growth.”

The study found that OEMs and suppliers are investing in advanced biometrics through vertical integration and funding relevant start-ups to build a stronger product portfolio.

Some emerging innovators in the automotive biometrics space include Empatica (a watch that monitors the vitals of drivers with history of epilepsy, predicting an attack before it happens); Gestigon (a software system that interprets a multitude of driver movements); Optalert (glasses that use infrared rays to monitor the eyes of the driver to detect the onset of drowsiness); Sober Steering (sensors that can be embedded into the steering wheel to check if the driver is intoxicated and whether the alcohol level is within permissible limits); and Vigo (smart headsets that monitor head movements in order to determine driver distraction, slouching posture and drowsiness).

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