Ian Robertson, the company's board member responsible for sales, says BMW might get rid of car keys. The fact that customers now all carry a smartphone and the availability of a BMW App which allows them to unlock their car, has made old fashioned keys less relevant.
In an interview at the Frankfurt car show, Robertson explained that customers no longer had to put the key in the ignition to make the vehicle start. BMW is currently conducting feasibility studies of such tech, but no introduction date has been put forth as yet. The Bavarian company isn’t the first to come up with this, though. Early last year, Volvo announced the same plans and detailed some of its benefits, including “sharing” the digital key with family members and friends via smartphones. On the commercial side of things, car rental companies can even use this feature for its customers (tourists, expats etc), removing the need for miserably long queues. Volvo, however, promises to continue providing customers with the physical key fob, just in case your phone goes bust.
But just how safe is this digital car key tech, when just last year, millions of cars from the Volkswagen Group with keyless entry were found to be at risk of being hacked? If unscrupulous hackers can do it remotely for under RM100 through a pair of wireless radio transmitters, what big a risk will car owners be faced with when car keys become fully digitised as an app?