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Tuesday February 25th, 2020

The Potential of Biometrics in Automotive

Leveraging EKG biometrics in the interconnected car
The dawning of fingerprint and facial recognition technology six years ago demonstrated how biometrics can be successfully leveraged to meet the insatiable consumer demand for operational dexterity. Biometric sensing acceptance by consumers continues to grow, today smartphone devices and wearables are equipped with robust progressive biometric modalities: fingerprint sensing, optical vsm sensing, facial recognition. Research from Counterpoint Technology reports 64% of smartphones worldwide will ship with facial recognition technology in 2020, up from just 23% last year.

However, as consumer awareness and knowledge continue to grow and improve so too does the acknowledgement of the limitations and flaws within these biometric modes. With the recent outbreak of coronavirus, China is facing an authentication issue, people wearing surgical masks to protect themselves from coronavirus are walking the streets with their faces half-covered, resulting in unlocking their phones with facial recognition or making a biometric mobile payment near impossible. One area that biometrics shows significant growth promise is the automotive sector. It’s clear that complete biometric integration into car infrastructure of every contemporary make and model will soon be a requisite in every car that rolls off the assembly line.


EKG Biometrics and Driving Experience
How EKG biometric technology will impact the automotive sector.

In comparison to other biometric authenticators the health and wellness data harnessed by EKG (HeartKey®) is invaluable. An ideal modality for automotive adoption, EKG biometrics supports multiple use cases and applications. B-Secur’s HeartKey® offers endless flexible deployment possibilities; from wearable devices to steering wheel integration for trusted interactive health and wellbeing monitoring, in-car personalisation and advanced security solutions. The connected car is the next step in ensuring personalised 360, 24/7 health and wellness monitoring for complete control of user data, anytime anywhere.

Data gleaned from an individual’s EKG biometrics can inform the driver of fatigue, physiological stress or insight into cardiac abnormalities. This will allow drivers to make astute decisions, safeguarding their health – even acting as an accident deterrent. However, health and wellbeing monitoring is just a single application. There could in fact be seven key applications of EKG automotive biometrics. This presents a tangible opportunity to revolutionise the whole driving experience.


Fatigue detection could save lives
One in six crashes resulting in death and injury were fatigue related.
Brake – Road Safety Charity


The Seven Key Applications of Automotive Biometrics

Health and Wellness
One in six crashes involve driver fatigue. Volvo first introduced fatigue monitoring (very basic) into cars in 2007. This clearly shows Car manufacturers are yet to find the perfect solution. EKG biometric technology (B-Secur’s HeartKey®) could be that solution – providing vital insights that help drivers to understand their stress levels, personal cardiac rhythms and levels of fatigue. Each of these seven applications has the potential to significantly impact the driving experience, however it could be argued that none are more important than EKG biometric health monitoring. Reaching beyond merely fatigue, EKG biometrics have the potential to be developed to detect levels of stress, (illness shown by stress) and the presence of severe cardiac conditions, such as arrhythmia – and prevent drivers from starting a car when they may not be safe to drive.


In-Car Personalisation
Supporting both owner(s) and frequent passengers, such as children or colleagues, EKG enabled in-car personalisation gives individuals the opportunity to fully interact with a car for optimal, autonomous in-car experience. HeartKey® identifies the driver and can alter the in-car environment to their predetermined preferences, these could include Spotify playlist, temperature, seat settings and more to promote convenience and enable drivers to better concentrate on the road ahead.


In-Car Payments
Making in-car payments is yet another biometric function that streamlines and improves the overall driving experience. The integration of payment services, including Apple and Samsung Pay and Google Wallet are already in operation at payment terminals across the UK and can be used in place of traditional credit cards. With your car connected to a payment system, biometric technologies can execute cashless payments at petrol stations, coffee shops, even eCommerce purchases on websites accessed whilst in the car. With EKG’s anti-spoofing qualities, seamless integration with EKG wearables allow for 24/7 authenticated payments inside and outside of the vehicle.


The data rich EKG signal provides tangible benefits for insurance providers. Irrefutable driver identity can be easily ascertained. This can be especially useful in the event of an accident or crime being committed with the recorded data gleaned from the system on physical health and wellbeing at the time of the crash able to be exported and analysed to determine fault. Additionally, this insight can also provide valuable information to car insurers when analysing a driver’s unique profile to determine trended, trusted data. The data extracted affects policy decisions, with insurers potentially increasing their margins or refusing to insure drivers with questionable vitals readings.


Car Entry
Car thievery has been on the rise since 2013/2014. According to Statista, just over 70,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2013/2014. This figure rose to over 114,000 in 2018/2019. This shows that car thieves have become increasingly sophisticated. Biometrics could securely protect your car from opportunistic thieves. Tesla vehicles already employ fingerprint biometric scanning via their smartphone app to lock and unlock models in their ranges. However, the addition of the internal EKG biometric greatly increases security and decreases the chances of spoofing, protecting both the vehicle itself and the driver data harnessed from it.


Engine Start
At the end of 2018, Hyundai introduced the Santa Fe – the first car to feature biometric sensors to start the engine. Volvo, BMW and Tesla, amongst other manufacturers, have also signalled their intent to increasingly incorporate biometrics into their vehicle range. Biometric engine start technology would bolster security (HeartKey®’s EKG user ID) whilst providing owners with assured convenience that they will never have to worry about misplacing the key or fob to start the engine. Currently Jaguar offer the feature remotely via phone app, adding EKG again would bolster security and personalise features.


Vehicle and Home Automation
Another benefit of personalised continuous connectivity to automotive, is that it works in tandem with the IoT and SHD to seamlessly integrate with EKG wearables. Ready to automate and streamline features, creating a more comfortable and efficient living experience. Such is our modern world that being able to control your smart home using in-car biometrics is vastly appealing. With verified identification, homeowners can control a home security system, lights and heating from the comfort of their car. This enables drivers to set up their home just how they’d like from the moment they step through the door.


EKG Biometrics in Automotive
Biometrics have vast capacity to improve not only the in-car experience but the safety and security of other motorists too. Consumer awareness and demand for biometrics in automotive increasing it’s no surprise that manufacturer adoption is accelerating. It may not be too long before all new cars integrate the technology. Beyond the standard applicational purposes, the ability of EKG biometrics to monitor and inform drivers of their health and well-being has the potential to safeguard drivers, motorists, and pedestrians – even saving lives.

B-Secur’s HeartKey® algorithms harness the power of biometrics merging trusted, health and wellbeing into wearable and automotive technology. These algorithms then interpret, record and communicate vital data, monitoring physical and psychological states, providing drivers with seamless connectivity for convenience and data protection in car payments and security to make important decisions for their safety and the safety of everyone around them.