Many vehicle brands promote the Smart Key system as a benefit, but is it the safest thing for you? Find out here
New technologies available to drivers
Technology in the automotive area is growing every day. A few years ago, smart keys were realities that only existed in science fiction movies. Now what seemed impossible has become every day. Today, self-driving and parking vehicles, cars reacting to voice commands, and prototype flying vehicles exist in the market.
In safety, the brands have also incorporated many technological elements to make life easier for drivers:
- Sensors that alert when the vehicle is too close to another,
- Cameras with face recognition to verify when a driver is tired and smart keys. They are innovations that have already been around for some years.
Smart Keys are not a new technology (since the ’90s). However, their automotive industry has grown exponentially in recent years as an easy way to access a car.
It becomes hard to stop and find when a driver is overloaded, or the car key is missing in the load. In this, smart keys are a very timely solution.
While this smart system may seem like a huge advantage initially, but criminals also upgrade to find ways to violate vehicle safety. Therefore, it is important to analyze how safe the car is.
What is the Smart Key system?
“Smart key” refers to a system in which the driver can open and start the vehicle (among other functions) without inserting the key in the lock.
How does it work?
The key includes an antenna that captures the signal constantly transmitted by the vehicle. As long as the key is within a specific range (between 5 and 20 meters), the signal will allow access to the vehicle without inserting the key.
Once inside, just by pressing the brake or clutch, the vehicle detects that the key is inside and turns on when the button is pressed.
This whole information exchange process is encrypted to ensure security.
Some brands have introduced additional features, such as recognizing the driver’s own settings, steering settings, selected radio stations, the amount of fuel remaining, and more.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Smart Key system?
The advantages are given by the convenience of not looking for the key and manipulating it to open the vehicle or start it. In addition, the built-in extra functions allow you to obtain key information about the car’s operation. The system, being encrypted, should provide greater security than traditional systems.
Regarding disadvantages, the first is given by some studies that reveal systems vulnerable to attacks by computer criminals. Some cryptographic errors found in the designs of certain vehicle brands allow cloning the key and stealing the car effortlessly.
Car companies are struggling to fix these encryption problems with software updates. But hackers are sure to look for new ways to breach security as well.
The other disadvantage is that in case of losing the key, obtaining another one is much more difficult. Because only some authorized sites do it, but they charge high.
What to expect for the future?
The latest innovations in smart access come from BMW and Apple, which teamed up to incorporate the Car Key. This technology, which is already available for some BMW models. It uses the same system and security as the Wallet app and works like a digital key stored on the smartphone.
It also allows you to share access with other contacts (up to 5 users) and give them different privileges. So it is an advantage if we want a family member or friend to use the car without the keys.
If you need car key programming or looking for a key cutting service, Count on our Auto locksmith New Port Richey.