The 2018 Buick Enspire concept crossover, unveiled at Auto China 2018 in Shanghai back in April, features a bevy of cutting-edge features intended to represent the future result of “Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility. Among them is a facial recognition system capable of unlocking the vehicle as the owner approaches and automatically configuring the interior to suit his or her preferences.
This includes automatically adjusting things like the drivers seat to the owner’s stored configuration settings.
That’s the real trick of such a system. Plenty of automakers have already implemented “proximity” keys, which allow the vehicle to unlock automatically as the owner approaches, and in any production use of facial-recognition technology, no automaker could safely allow a vehicle to be started using only the owner’s face; the risk of vehicle theft is too high. But a system that allows the vehicle’s interior to automatically rearrange itself to suit the needs of the driver before he or she even climbs inside might make for a welcome piece of high-tech convenience.
Granted, there’s a very high probability that the Buick Enspire concept’s facial-recognition technology will remain an idea only for the foreseeable future, given the difficulty that some other companies have had in trying to implement such systems reliably.
Apple Inc. made a big to-do about its use of face unlocking with the launch of the iPhone X late last year, but many owners have reported having issues with it being either under-eager to unlock – such as when the user first wakes up and his or her face is still a tad swollen from sleep (via Slate) – or over-eager, granting unwanted access to blood relatives, for instance.
Needless to say, the stakes are quite a bit higher when it comes to a vehicle; even if the 2018 Buick Enspire concept’s facial-recognition feature didn’t allow the wrong person to drive off without a key, it might still give them access to the owner’s valuables.
Stay tuned to GM Authority for more Buick Enspire news.