New Apple Patent Lets Users Unlock Vehicles Using Biometric Verification
Apple tends to apply for patents on anything and everything its engineers come up with, which means that we often see patents that go nowhere, with no discernible use in any of the company’s products. This may be another one of those, but it sounds pretty awesome nonetheless.
According to a patent that was published last week but was actually applied for in February of 2017, Apple is, or was working on technology that would allow for biometric authentication of a vehicle.
The patent, titled “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization,” suggests that the current single-factor methods of authorization are inadequate – something that it hopes to fix.
Vehicles may be accessed and operated using a key or key fob. Typically, the key fob may provide a remote keyless entry system that provides access to the vehicle by unlocking the doors and additional functionality such as starting the engine. However, most conventional key fobs or keyless entry systems are single factor security systems that offer only a low level of security.
Moreover, some conventional remote keyless entry systems are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks and other security issues. For example, the vehicle is unable to identify the person carrying the key or key fob, so anyone with the key fob can operate the vehicle.
The theory is that if a car knows who is unlocking it, then it would be able to configure various things accordingly. That might include seat position, driving set up and even the volume of the radio. If you’ve ever gotten into a car and found all of the heating settings were changed by its previous occupant, this patent might just be the thing that stops all of that.
However, given the fact that this patent was applied for two years ago, it’s impossible to know where the project is right now. It’s also possible it no longer exists, especially considering the refactoring the Project Titan team has gone through in that time.