Automation is sweeping the automotive industry. The tide is turning on manual cars dominating our roads and highways with more automatic vehicles than ever rolling off production lines.

One of Britain’s most loved car manufacturers, Ford is seeking a patent for “enhanced biometric authorisation” to digitalise car locking and unlocking procedures. Customers can be more reassured that their car will be safe if their keys are lost.

Replacing keys that may be lost or stolen, facial recognition will authorise owners to access their cars automatically, prompting the doors to unlock quickly. While physical characteristics change over time, biometrics can be refreshed “in real time” without the input of users, Ford said.

Digital car keys are also being developed by vendors like IDEMIA to store on smartphones. Hyundai has followed the growing trend of unlocking cars with fingerprint authorisation.