Oct 14, 2022 - Technology

You can unlock Genesis' new electric SUV just like an iPhone

Image of the fingerprint ID feature in the Genesis GV60

The tiny fingerprint reader (top) and the crystal ball that flips upside down to become a gear shifter are some of the ways Genesis is setting its new electric GV60 apart from other plug-in SUVs. Photo courtesy of Genesis

If you're prone to losing your car keys, don't fret: You won't need them to drive the new Genesis GV60 electric SUV. All it takes is your face — and your finger.

Why it matters: The same biometric technology that unlocks your iPhone is now available in a car, meaning you can leave the key fob at home.

Details: Instead of a traditional wireless key fob or Bluetooth-enabled phone-as-a-key, the GV60 uses facial recognition and a fingerprint reader to unlock and start the vehicle.

It's simple to set up and takes less than five minutes.

  • From the driver's seat, I used the touchscreen to create a new user profile and was then asked if I wanted to add my biometric data.
  • Choosing "yes," I was prompted to step out of the vehicle and stand in front of a tiny camera on the pillar between the front and rear doors. The illuminated circle showed me it was working.
  • I got back in the car and placed my right pointer finger on another circle on the center console, rolling it around until it captured my entire fingerprint. It was identical to the process of setting up fingerprint ID on my iPhone.
  • The car then knew me, storing my radio favorites, seat position and so forth. (It can store a second driver's biometric ID as well.)

For the record: Genesis say customers' biometric data is encrypted and stored only in the vehicle, not in the cloud.

  • The automaker has no way to access the data, and drivers can delete it whenever they want.

I was a bit nervous the first time I left home without the key fob, but the system worked as designed.

  • I had to remember to pause, touch the door handle and look at the camera circle each time I wanted to unlock the car, and it took a few tries to get the knack of using the fingerprint reader.

Yes, but: That made me wonder: What's wrong with keeping the key fob in your pocket or purse? Many cars automatically unlock when you approach with the fob, and all you have to do is push the start button to drive away.

  • In some electric cars (like Teslas), you don't even have to do that. Just get in and go. When you walk away, the car shuts off.

The bottom line: The biometric ID feature is just one of the ways that Genesis hopes to stand out in the growing segment for premium electric SUVs.

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