Car Keys are So 2012… But What Could Replace Them?

December 31st, 2012

Remember when some cars, GM vehicles specifically, required two different keys? The little round one unlocked the doors and the little square one started the engine.

Then technology grew to combine those two keys into one, so drivers no longer had to fumble with separate keys to gain access to their vehicles. Soon key fobs were invented and the door unlock key became altogether unnecessary as a simple push of a button handled all locking and unlocking functions.

Of course, for modern civilized humans, the act of inserting the key into the ignition and twisting it required far too much effort so the push-to-start button was invented. That gave drivers the convenience of never needing to remove their keys from their pockets.

What’s next in the evolution of car keys? Probably their complete disappearance.

Hyundai will introduce new technology in its 2015 generation of cars that allows drivers to unlock their cars with smartphones and wirelessly connect the devices through a charging plate to an on-board touchscreen to start the car. In theory, that means no keys or even key fobs.

Contacts, apps, streaming audio and navigation destinations will all sync with the car through the phone, and even adjust seats and mirrors based on which driver’s phone is used.

As convenient as this sounds, it does create some potential problems. Things like possible hacking, security from previous owners, and the phone freezing while driving all present issues that will need to be worked out.

Now before you launch yourself into a tizzy and complain that drivers shouldn’t be required to own a smartphone in order to own a Hyundai, this technology will probably be an additional option with some sort of traditional back-up plan in place should the phone’s battery die prior to unlocking the doors.

Don’t worry, you won’t be any more of a hostage to your phone than you are now!

Do you want your smartphone to replace your car keys?

-tgriffith

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