It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that for most people a car is the most valued personal asset. Naturally, safeguarding one’s vehicle from the threat of crimes like theft is critical. The car key plays a monumental role in this – it is necessary for the driver of the vehicle to use in order to start the car. Protected by a unique pattern, the key serves as something of a password for the vehicle’s security system. Often, it takes a team of reliable auto locksmiths to understand every aspect of the process.
Exploring the Role of the Car Key
Car keys come with their own sets of problems, one of which being the fact that most of them are easy to duplicate. To address this issue, technicians enabled each key to be distinguished by a unique pattern, carving it on the inside instead of on the surface. In the mid-90s, the immobiliser system started being adopted in a big way, and it offered a more viable solution.
A key that utilises immobiliser technology has the appearance of a regular key, but it is secured with an encrypted chip known as the ‘transponder’, inserted into the handle. The electronic control unit (ECU) of the vehicle enables an authentication process via information embedded on the chip which is necessary for the engine to start. Therefore, even if one could open the car door with a duplicate key, driving the car would not be possible without its unique key. Needless to say, immobiliser technology has radically transformed automobile security
Moving into the New Era of Car Lock and Key Security
In addition to the numerous upgrades in car keys, seminal technological developments in automotive technologies continue to make cars more secure, convenient, and simpler. A notable innovation is the Passive Keyless Entry and Start – a lot of car brands today are utilising this to tighten the security. When a low power signal is emitted, the system detects how close you are to the vehicle, thereby allowing you to open the doors and get the engine started without needing keys.
The most significant aspect of this innovation is that it works on the smart communication between the key and electronic control unit of the vehicle. This intelligent technology is advanced further through the use of compact single chip solutions that provide various functions, including immobilisation, and which utilises the Security Transponder, RISC Controller and UHF Transmitter on the same chip.
Universal Smart Keys
Smart keys introduced convenience and safety to vehicles’ security systems. A universal smart key is similar to a remote control key but it offers greater functionality. By communicating with the vehicle using low-frequency signals, it facilitates the locking and unlocking of the door from remote distances – at greater distances than was possible with regular remote control keys. Furthermore, a car responds to a smart key to unlock the door and activate unique features like the ‘welcome motion’.
Most smart keys also utilise buttons rather than a turnkey starter; whereas in the past, the immobiliser functioned via a chip on the key’s handle – in the case of smart keys, it uses an antenna which allows the vehicle to recognise it and start.
Exploring the Future of Car Key Security
With the advent of digital keys at the forefront of car key security, the biometric system promises a future of near-faultless protection. With the biometric system in place, one can do away entirely with the necessity of the traditional system, leave alone replacement car keys; only the owner of the vehicle will have access to unlocking the door, empowering him in the process.
In the future, automobiles may come equipped with a range of biometric recognition systems such as facial recognition, voice, and iris, as well as fingerprint recognition. As technology continues to move forward and offer promising solutions to security, car owners across the world can ready themselves to a more comfortable and safe experience with their vehicles.