The 2020 Sonata is the first Hyundai model to include Hyundai Digital Key, which allows the Sonata to be unlocked, locked, started and driven with a smartphone. The system also allows the primary user to share Digital Key access with three other users. You can actually send someone a “shared key” from clear across the country.
With Hyundai Digital Key, you unlock the car by holding your smartphone against the driver or passenger door handle. Once inside, just place the phone in the wireless charger, push the start button and go. For security, Hyundai Digital Key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow operation of the vehicle which, unlike Bluetooth, requires the device and reader to be within a few centimeters of each other. The close proximity prevents the vehicle from being unlocked and started by someone else when you just happen to be near your car.
Hyundai Digital Key is compatible with most Android phones and is not available on iPhones. The Digital Key App is a free download from the Google Play Store, and contains everything needed to set up the Hyundai Digital Key system. The app does not have to be open to unlock or start your car, but when open, includes Bluetooth-enabled features that let you lock, unlock, start your vehicle, and engage other functions remotely.
You still receive two smart keys with the Sonata, which provide passive entry and keyless start ability, but with Hyundai Digital Key, you no longer need them to operate the car. You will also receive a NFC Key Card that can fit inside a wallet, and substitute for your phone for iPhone users, valet services, leaving the Sonata to be serviced, or use in case your Android phone runs out of power.
Possibly the most useful Hyundai Digital Key feature is the ability to enable vehicle operating access to family or friends at any time (provided they too, have an Android device). They would download the Digital Key App from the Google Play Store, after which you would use your app to invite them to have a Shared Key. When they accept, they must create a MyHyundai.com account to operate your Sonata. You can have up to three Shared Keys, and one secondary driver can set up their own presets for driver-seat and mirror position, climate, audio preferences and more. As the primary user, you can control when a Shared Key can be used and pause or end a Shared Key’s capability at any time.
Making its debut on the 2020 Sonata, Hyundai Digital Key is the latest advance in vehicle & smartphone integration, and can be expected as a feature on future newly introduced or redesigned Hyundai models.