Smart technology has been around for decades and is now a standard feature in most homes, cell phones and cars. For years inventors have been creating ways for humans to perform daily tasks at the push of a button. Well there’s good news for drivers; we no longer have to even push a button to enter our vehicles. With a smart key, our car doors will unlock for us when we are in the vicinity of our vehicles. But is this keyless entry system all it’s cracked up to be?
A smart key is a simple device, as small as a standard car key, that will unlock your car when you are within a certain distance (usually within 15 feet) and will lock it when you have gone far enough. The technology is quite simple: when you are within range, your key fob will send a signal to a transmitter in the vehicle which will unlock/lock the doors. Because there is no key, the engine starts and stops by pushing a button next to the steering wheel. The procedure may differ slightly based on the car model (some have a knob to start the engine, others you need to press the door handle to open the car), but they all follow the same basic idea. Most modern cars already have this system built in but it is possible to install a smart key receiver on some older models.
• You can’t lock your keys in the car: most drivers have forgotten their keys inside their vehicle at one time or another. As long as your key is within range of your vehicle, the car will not lock. Even if your car has an exterior lock button, it will remain unlocked and some vehicles will even sound the horn in this case. This is a game-changer for safety, especially if a child or pet has mistakenly been left in a hot vehicle.
• It makes life easier: fumbling around for keys in our pockets or handbags (especially while carrying groceries or pushing a carriage) can be quite frustrating. The keyless entry system allows you to skip that step and simply enter your car and drive away as long as your key is somewhere on your person.
• You don’t have to wonder if you locked the car: how many times have you wondered “did I lock the door” or even gone back to your car or home just to double check? The smart key system completely eliminates that worry because the car will automatically lock when you walk far enough away from the vehicle.
• The cost: the price of the key is very expensive (if it is not given to you when you purchase or lease your car). Additionally, the key requires batteries that need to be replaced every so often, as opposed to the standard car key which does not require any upkeep.
• The key can be damaged: until manufacturers make the keys waterproof, you have to be very careful about where you keep the key fob. It is more easily damageable than the standard key because the technology inside is more sensitive.
• Your car can be more easily broken into: manufacturers advertise that the keys have specialized chips inside (similar to your credit card) that allow it to only work with your individual car. But experienced hackers can potentially break the code and enter your car. While the push to start engine may have difficulty operating without the physical key fob, technology is not impregnable. And because a burglar can enter without breaking any windows or setting off an alarm, it can be more difficult to find and catch them if they succeed.
Smart technology has completely changed the way the world operates and has simplified daily tasks tremendously. While the keyless entry system fixes a small difficulty, it may not be a completely necessary addition to new vehicles.
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