There are three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes, and you will, at one point or another, lock your keys in your car. Out of the three, you might choose locking your keys in the car, especially with the engine running and/or a small child inside it, as the worst of the three.
But as luck would have it (and today’s digital high tech), you can use your smartphone to immediately Google “car key replacement near me” and if all goes well, you will have your vehicle unlocked in a matter of minutes. And that’s without having to smash one of your windows.
But did you know that it’s quite possible getting your keys locked inside your car just might become a thing of the past? That’s because the car key is about to about to become a relic of the past.
According to a new, humorous article, the writer/author states that he was recently involved in a two-vehicle accident, bringing his car to “the end of its natural life.” On the bright side of things, he and his teenage grandson, who was riding shotgun, weren’t injured. That said, the insurance people declared the vehicle “totaled.” The writer then issued a sad goodbye to his old, loyal, Toyota SUV.
The Modern Replacement Vehicle
The writer states that he quickly purchased the modern replacement of his old Toyota SUV. Much to his surprise, it did not come with an ignition key. It came instead with something that’s referred to as a “fob.” The key fob is said to project electronic waves toward the engine’s digital starter components. In other words, all you have to do is keep the fob in your pocket, and it takes care of getting your car started.
If your vehicle is locked, the fob makes certain that the door will automatically unlock the closer you come to it. Once behind the wheel of the vehicle, you no longer need to insert a key into what used to be called the “ignition starter.” You just press a dash-mounted black button that fires up the engine.
The author jokes that it used to be “so taxing” having to dig into your pocket for your car keys and then having to go through the effort of slipping the key into the ignition and turning it.
“Ain’t technology great?” The author poses. American drivers no longer have to turn an ignition key to get where they are going. This is what’s called “progress.”
The Wave of the Future
The New York Times recently reported that the key fob was the future ignition and security source for all vehicles going forward. The Times piece reminds readers that cars have gone from “cranks” to digitally automated vehicular wonders in less than a century.
Now there’s talk of autonomous, self-driving cars which are definitely on the horizon. The writer states that never, ever, would he be caught riding inside one of these. Nor will he ever drive an electric vehicle (EV) for fear of being shocked.
Does the younger generation have any idea what a car crank was? Cranks should not be confused with a bad tempered driver, the writer reminds us. They were instead utilized to fire up a vehicle’s engine. To start the vehicle, a person was required to insert a crank (about the size of a tire iron), into the front of the engine. They would then turn the crank until the engine started.
Up until and throughout World War II, many aircraft engines also required a crank to start them up. If the engine wouldn’t turn over, there was a good chance you weren’t flying that day.
The Invention of the Key System
Back in 1949, Chrysler is said to have introduced a brand new, cutting edge car starter system in which all you needed to unlock your car door and start up the engine was a single key you carried around in your pocket or in your purse. Amazing!
All you to do was slip the key into the ignition starter, turn it and bingo, your car would roar to life. It must have been an incredible advance to go from cranks and starter pedals to simple little key.
But then, one can only imagine how many more people locked themselves out of their cars in 1949 with the engine still running and/or with a small child or pet locked inside it, than in previous years.
Turning Off Your Car
The writer notes that in order to turn your car off with a key fob, you are required to depress the same dash-mounted black button. No more turning a key and pulling it out of the ignition. Wow, what an amazing leap in car key progress.