Unlocking car doors, especially on older models has always been a simple task. Put in a key, twist, and voila, it can now be opened. Over the years and with the help of technology, automakers have made the task even easier but at the same time made the system more complicated through the use of keyless entry systems and smart key fobs. Soon however, it could get a lot more complex.
Apple has recently published a patent which uses facial recognition system to unlock your doors as soon as the owner approaches the vehicle. More so, the system is said to be able to accommodate personalized settings per user such as seat, mirror and even air-conditioning settings along with having multiple driver profiles. That said, these presets are already in use in some vehicles today.
Reading through the patent, it seems as if Apple’s approach would make the facial recognition feature integrated with their phone’s operating system. Likely, similar to the Face ID technology that they rolled out in November 2017 together with the iPhone X. If you don't happen to be an iPhone owner, the patent describes the system also being integrated onto the vehicle’s exterior.
While the patent was only published recently, the concept doesn’t appear to be new. In fact, Apple first filed the patent way back in February 2017. Do remember that back then, Apple was working on their Project Titan self-driving vehicle. With the status of their autonomous vehicle currently in the air, there is the question of whether the facial recognition software is still an active project or not, according to Futurism.
Aside from whether or not Apple is still developing the facial recognition tech on cars, there is also the issue of accuracy. There have been previous reports of Apple’s Face ID system in Asia where the tech could not tell two Chinese women apart. That would be a big problem if someone else could randomly unlock your car.