The eyes are the window and Hyundai has opened the latch.
Hyundai has filed for some pretty wild patents recently. First, there was the idea of multi-function double doors, which would swing open and transform into a bench seat. The brand is also working on some kind of windshield wiper display that'll show the status of vehicles like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 via the wipers and windscreen. In short, the brand is working on some interesting tech that could make its way into several models.
The Drive has uncovered another interesting patent filing here in the US. That patent is for a sort of "iris identification system," and will do exactly what it says on the box. The patented tech uses an iris scanner, like the ones you've seen in every heist movie, to validate the identity of the car's driver. This eye-scanning patent also makes use of an infrared sensor to determine if there's something on your face that could prevent it from ID'ing you.
Apparently, if the infrared sensor does detect some kind of obstruction, like a hat, the car will be able to adjust the lighting and even move the steering wheel to better see those peepers. That would likely be accompanied by some kind of warning that the system can't verify your identity. Given the bit about the moving wheel, we're guessing the camera and sensor will live somewhere near or in the car's gauge cluster. Also, this tech is likely intended for a future with autonomous driving, as moving the steering wheel just to start the car would not make sense. Once the car is sure it's you and not a jealous ex at the wheel, it'll allow you to start it. The patent also says that seating and wheel positions could be adjusted depending on who the eye belongs to, like existing memory functions.
Obviously, the security angle is the most beneficial one with this system. It would function as another anti-theft device so that even if someone could gain access to your car, they couldn't start it without biometric verification from the car. We're betting that Hyundai would also allow the owner of the car to add verified users to the system, like a spouse or child.
Some Hyundai models do already use one form of biometric verification. Genesis GV70 owners can use their phone's fingerprint scanner to verify their identity to the car, and like the iris system, acts as a qualifier before allowing the driver to unlock and start the car. Slowly but surely, we're reaching a point where a car's key fob is no longer an essential item for starting and driving your car. How long it takes to get to that point fully remains to be seen, but with a recent CarBuzz scoop revealing that Mercedes is working on similar tech, it seems inevitable.