Although big name concept car launches often steal the spotlight, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas also hosts a set of smaller reveals and demonstrations from original equipment manufacturers that, arguably, are more relevant to everyday buyers. CES 2017 will play host to a new set of biometric scanning tools from Continental, opening the door for smarter security and customization systems in future cars.
Fingerprint scanners are commonplace on smartphones and laptops, but they don't really feature in modern cars. Continental wants to change that with its fingerprint-enabled start button. Having entered the car using a regular keyless entry system, owners would need to scan a finger for the car to start. Not only would this make it harder for thieves to break in, it would also prevent teenagers or children from nicking mum's keys and going for a joyride.
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Biometric tech could also be used for easier in-cabin personalization. Using a facial recognition camera, the car can move the mirrors, seating position, climate control and radio to match individual preferences as soon as a particular driver sits down in the seat.
Tesla has played around with this concept on the Model S, allowing drivers to save profiles in the infotainment system, but swapping between people involves diving into menus. If the Continental system works as advertised, it is a simpler and more user-friendly way to have the car set up for different drivers.
All this tech will be on display at CES 2017, where New Atlas will be on the ground covering the action.