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Using facial recognition to unlock a car

Jaguar Land Rover is filling a patent for facial recognition based keyless entry, according to Car Throttle.

The company fleets of the future could unlock their doors via facial recognition if the patent the company has filed will pass.

According to the technical details of the patent, two cameras would be placed on each side of the car and would ‘see’ faces approaching. Once it recognises one that is stored in its memory, the doors would unlock hands-free.

The process would need to involve taking head-shots specifically to be stored in the car’s memory, which might raise privacy questions. If hackers could extract the photos, they would potentially have an avenue to finding out the owners’ identities.

The idea is though, is to make it easier to unlock the car when returning with arms full of shopping bags or carrying kids, plus saving the owners the need to rummage around in pockets or bags.

Just like the iPhone, it means that if a driver gets punched in the face, starts wearing glasses or something else happened to change their look above the neck, it might be tricky to unlock the car.

Ford and Intel are also putting together a research project, Project Mobil, where they insert a camera into the dashboard for facial recognition, according to Lauren Fix the Car Coach. The owner of the vehicle is able to register family members’ faces to the car, and if the person who gets into the driver seat is not registered, the car will not start.

Just like smart keys, this recognition software will adjust the car’s settings to whoever is driving. It can automatically adjust the music volume, driver’s seat position, vehicle speed, etc. Drivers will also be able to adjust climate, sunroof and other options by using voice commands.

Another feature of Project Mobile, is that the owner of the vehicle can receive feedback from the camera to their device or computer, meaning that the owner can see whatever is happening inside its own car which can raise other security issues if hacked.

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