Is it time to say adios?
Car keys may be heading down the same road as the combustion engine, manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive—off to that big junkyard in the sky, at least if you believe the latest news coming out of Frankfurt.
Reuters is reporting that BMW is currently reviewing the necessity of car keys since most customers now carry a smartphone and use an app to unlock their vehicles.
It has made old-fashioned keys obsolete—or has it?
“Honestly, how many people really need it,” Ian Robertson, BMW sales board member, told Reuters at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Robertson points out customers no longer have to put the key in the ignition to make their car start.
“They never take it out of their pocket, so why do I need to carry it around?” Robertson said, adding that the company was looking at getting rid of keys altogether.
Yes, this may be true, but what about a hacker gaining access to your Tesla or Jeep by computer? Or what if there is no cell service or your phone’s battery dies? What about the valet? Would you give a valet your phone—hell no!
“We are looking at whether it is feasible, and whether we can do it. Whether we do it right now or at some point in the future, remains to be seen,” Robertson said to the news service.
Most car companies have been doing away with actual keys for years—most have fobs and it is rare to get a real key in a new car today.
Tesla is foregoing the key fob and is using a key card and mobile app instead to unlock and start its new Model 3.
While this may be the future for most car companies, customers better stay connected and pray they have a strong wireless connection.
Just don’t lose that keycard with its NFC chip. Otherwise you just may get locked out of your shiny new car.
Do you prefer a key, no key, fob, or keycard?