The Hyundai's new Digital Key allows Sonata owners to unlock their car, sound the horn and start the car all from a smartphone app. This isn't new technology, of course, but Hyundai has a trick up its sleeve.offers big improvements in technology, luxury and design, and there's a nifty new bit of tech, as well.
Using NFC (near-field communication), Digital Key means drivers can unlock the car by placing their phone directly on the Sonata's door handle. Other vehicles require a traditional key fob to be inside the car to fully engage the vehicle after it's been started remotely. While the Sonata will still be sold with a smart fob, all you need is your phone to put it in drive and go on your merry way. Just slip it into the wireless charger/NFC reader and the Sonata will allow you full access to the vehicle, and even adjust the seat, mirrors, audio and driver aid parameters to your preset profile.
You can also share your key with friends and family, giving them access to some or all of the car for any amount of time you determine. Sharing happens directly from the app, so owners can theoretically be anywhere in the world and allow access to their Sonata to up to four people. Imagine being out of town on a business trip and letting a friend borrow your Sonata without any extra hassle.
An NFC card, similar to what you'd open a hotel room with, is supplied as well. You can keep this as a backup, or give it to someone like a valet driver or parking attendant, so you can still use Digital Key even if someone else might need to drive your vehicle while on the go.
Here's the caveat: Right now, this technology works with Android phones exclusively, since they're the only ones with NFC capability. Digital Key is standard on all but the base model of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, which we expect to see in dealerships this October.