Ford is developing an interesting new process that should reduce the chance of you finding your car perched on a set of bricks with all of its wheels missing.
The American car manufacturer says that overall changes in vehicle safety caused thieves to concentrate instead on car parts. These valuable alloy wheels are included. This says that they are not invulnerable though locking wheel nuts may offer some protection. In this context, a unique 3D locking wheel nut has been developed which features contours that are based on the driver’s voice.
Ford says that just like an iris scan or a fingerprint, a person’s voice can be used as a unique biometric identification. To make the nut, engineers first record the driver’s voice for a minimum of one second, saying something like “Can I get sports stripes for my Ford Fiesta?” well, you know, anything after which its software converts the sound wave into a physical, printable pattern that’s turned into a circle and used as the design for the locking nut’s indentation and key.
“With the geometry in place, the nut and key are designed as one piece, then 3D-printed using acid and corrosion resistant stainless steel,” Ford explains on its website. “When finished, the nut and key are separated, with a small amount of grinding required to make them ready for use.”