The car key has been slowly but surely rendered obsolete as the the auto industry adopts other smart technologies. The trend has been accelerated in recent times. The shift has translated to added convenience and improved safety, but they also come with their own share of problems.
Most customers in Kenya who buy new or foreign used cars now have a high chance that they will be using some form of key less-entry push-button ignition system. A recent report indicates that well over 75% of cars sold in Kenya in 2018 had adapted some form of key-less technology. This trend is set to continue as more automakers adapt the technology. Companies such as the automaker Lincoln and Tesla are now unveiling technologies that allow car owners to use their smartphones as keys to lock, unlock and even drive their cars. Land Rover showcased similar technology with their smart bands that have now made it to their production models such as the Land Rover Discovery and the Range Rover Velar.
Smartphone key less entry technology offers a promising future as the mainstream adoption of IoT takes shape. It offers the convenience of not having to remember where your keys are. It also presents the ability to further tailor infotainment and cabin preferences such as ambient lighting, climate control, audio and seating preferences to individual drivers.
These technological advancements are not with their share of problems though. The misplacement and loss of the mobile phone is a key concern. The life cycle of the car way outlasts that of the phone is also an issue that car manufacturers need to find a way around. The automakers need to work closely with phone technology manufacturers to ensure their virtual key concepts remain compatible for years and that the security feature is watertight to inspire consumer confidence.
In the ongoing electric car revolution , the shared mobility concept has attracted a lot of attention not only from traditional automakers, but also from big tech companies such as the ride hailing app Uber. Traditional automakers such as Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors have invested billions into shared mobility concepts. General Motors’ Maven car sharing concept has offered a peak into what the future of shared mobility is going to look like.