Smartphones and cars have been coming together for some time now, but Hyundai is moving experimentation forward with its new "Connectivity Concept." The basis of the concept is using NFC tags attached to a car, allowing the driver to swipe their phone over the tag to unlock the car and perform other functions.
Hyundai revealed the new technology at its headquarters in Germany and calls the project a "technology study."
Not only does the phone use Near Field Communication (NFC) — or short-range electronic transmissions to unlock doors wirelessly, and even starts the car before the driver enters. Once inside, the phone docs in the center console and synchs it with the seven-inch onboard infotainment touchscreen.
Hyundai has tested the Connectivity Concept on the European model i30. When docked in the console the phone streams music, accesses the users' phonebook, text-messaging, remembers preferences such as radio presets and more. Plus, like other docking systems while the phone is doing its thing, it's also wirelessly charging.
Keyless entry is nothing new — we've used remotes and now we've moved on to door opening apps similar to what GM does with its OnStar system. The NFC system is simply removes the app middle-man and uses a wireless system with greater ease and efficiency.
The ultimate goal is to increase the capabilities of the NFC system to make the phones more capable of interacting with car.
In a statement, Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Hyundai Motor Europe said, "As the technology continually develops there will be capabilities to store driver's seating positions and exterior mirror settings, providing customers with a comfortable and individual driving environment."
There will likely need to be additional project studies that look at security efforts, in addition to the practical functions. The system will need to be able to prevent hacked or lost signals, and there is the very real need to build in a system that deals with lost or damaged phones so that consumers can still use their cars.
It is a concept system delving into some new territory, but Hyundai — working with Broadcom Corporation — is keen enough on the possibilities to be considering putting the "Connectivity Concept" into production as soon as 2015.