Keyless entry systems are becoming much more common. The idea that all you need is a key fob in your pocket to open your doors and start your car is old hat. Imagine for a moment, that you can do all this without ever needing a key fob. Hyundai has recently demonstrated such a system installed to an i30 (read: Elantra) that uses a smartphone to replace the bulky fob in your pocket.
The system only requires you to touch your phone against a certain part of the car to unlock the doors. There are a few more tricks at play though. The idea is to have a mounting point in the center console of the car that recognizes whose phone has been used, and then the seats, mirrors, radio favorites, and many other features will be customized to the driver. If you are worried about keeping your device battery full with all this new fancy technology, Hyundai has installed wireless charging into the center console so there are no cables to fiddle with.
This all may seem futuristic and far fetched, but in actuality all this technology currently exists in phones on sale today. Any phone that is equipped with Google Wallet functionality (Galaxy S3, Nexus 4) already has an NFC chip, and phones as old as the Palm Pre from 2009 have featured inductive wireless charging. Apple fans are left in the dark however, as no iPhone device yet released features NFC or Wireless charging built in. The future is just around the corner and Hyundai is doing its best to bring it to us. Plans are to have most of these systems in Hyundai cars by 2015.