Mercedes has a new smart key option. Instead of carrying a key fob around you’ll be able to unlock your car with your smart phone, instead.
A UK car magazine ran the story, so it’s not clear whether these smart phone key options will be released in the US, or when that might happen. Sometimes seeing an early technology like this tells you everyone will be using them for every car in ten years, and sometimes these technologies just fall flat.
What are the advantages of smart phone transponder keys?
For starters, you’ll have a lot less to carry around, and you’ll reduce the chances that you’re going to lose your keys. After all, most of us are pretty attached to our phones.
In addition, these keys are supposed to work even when the phone is dead, which means you won’t have to worry so much if you run out of juice. This was almost a requirement of any smart phone solution–everyone’s had that situation where their phone goes out at the worst possible time.
What about the disadvantages?
Well…there are several.
First, you have to physically touch your phone to the car in order to get it started. Sure, this is a first world problem, but it almost defeats the purpose of having a smart key in the first place.
It also doesn’t work with iPhones. While we’re not phone enthusiasts per se, plenty of people have opted for iPhones over Androids. Options are nice, and right now the only option an iPhone user would have would be to go back to the same old transponder keys Mercedes has been using.
Then there’s the matter of finding a locksmith if something goes wrong. As long as the SIM card option can be replaced with a new transponder key at any time there’s no problem…we already have the technology to make it happen. However, if the SIM option will require us to have an entirely different set of tools or poses unique compatibility issues there might be some lag time between the roll-out of this technology and the profession’s ability to catch up. This may mean bleeding edge Mercedes drivers may have no choice other than to turn to the dealership in most cities in the event their SIM key malfunctions or their phone is lost.
Either way, we’ll stay on top of it.
Of course, we won’t let this change catch us off guard…after all, you heard it here first. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the technology so we can make sure we’re always ready to serve our customers here in the Chicago metro area, no matter how they choose to activate their cars.