The New York International Auto Show returns in April with more than 1,000 vehicles, including first looks at 2020 models, like the Hyundai Sonata, which you can open with your phone, instead of with a keyfob.
It’s another example of the cutting edge technology automakers are using, and it’s all on display April 19-28 at the Javits Convention Center.
The eighth-generation Sonata showcases a sporty four-door-coupe look that embodies Hyundai’s new design “language”, called Sensuous Sportiness.
It’s a family-friendly, affordable sedan that looks and drives sportier than its predecessors.
But the real news for many of us is the new Digital Key, which allows users to unlock and start the vehicle via our smartphone.
The new Digital Key replaces a traditional physical key. It can be downloaded via an app, and used by up to four authorized people, so you can share your vehicle with family or friends, just as you would a conventional key fob.
The Digital Key also will make it much easier for a Hyundai vehicle to be included in a car-sharing program.
Down the road, the Digital Key will be enhanced further to allow for features such as an alarm to be triggered when the vehicle exceeds a defined speed or travels outside a designated area, which will be a great help for parents whose teens borrow the car.
Potential problems for a digital key
At first glance, this sounds great. But I see a couple of problems, and you might see them, too.
What happens when you inadvertently lock your phone in the car?
- How do you open the door to get the phone that opens the door?
What happens if your phone runs out of power?
- How do you open the door to plug in the phone to recharge it if you can’t open the door?
And if only four people can download the app, how will it be possible to hand over the vehicle for valet parking?
It’s the same questions I ask hotel companies which want to replace key cards with our phones. Although the valet parking question is valid for hotels, too.
What do you think?
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