How Car Keys Have Evolved Over The Years
When most people think about car keys, the picture that comes to mind is a traditional key with a metal blade and a plastic handle. However, car keys have come a long way over the years. Car dealerships and auto repair shops use key tags, which are inexpensive holders which simplify the process of organizing and color-coding keys. MBR Marketing offers a comprehensive selection of key tags for dealerships and auto repair shops including self-protecting key tags, arrow key tags, rigid plastic key tags, and much more.
Now, let’s discuss how car keys have evolved over the years and what the future of them may look like.
The Early Days
The very first keys ever made were during the early years of the 20th century, with the first one manufactured in 1910. The keys were simple metal rods that fit into the ignition of the car, but they were only used to lock the ignition as opposed to starting the vehicle. As the driver, you would still have to manually crank the engine to get it running. However, owning a vehicle at the time was considered a luxury, so nobody minded this way of starting the engine.
Fast forward 30 years later to the 1940s, Chrysler, one of the biggest car manufacturers at the time, designed a key that was able to start a car using an ignition tumbler. To this day, we still know Chrystler as the inventor of the modern car key. However, these historic keys did not offer much in terms of safety.
The car locks the same way as door locks, as they used cylinder locks. This meant that all car doors were mechanical and didn’t use pin tumblers or wafer tumblers to provide security. In other words, they were very easy to pick and break into. Not only that, but these keys could also be duplicated easily, so if you lost your key or it was stolen, anyone could easily make a copy and gain access to your vehicle.
During the 1980s-1990s, car manufacturers started introducing central locking systems that featured electronic starting and locking mechanisms. For example, the use of transponder keys that contained a chip in the fob allowed the car to know when the correct key was being used, thus starting the ignition. This made it much harder for thieves to break into cars because they would need to have the correct key to start the engine.
This also meant you no longer had to manually lock every door of your car individually. With the push of a button, you could now lock and unlock all the doors at once. The chip communicates with the computer system in the vehicle, which then controls the locking and starting mechanisms. Although this might sound basic to you now, it was quite the technological advancement at the time.
Moving forward, we were then introduced to remote keys in the 2000s, which used sensors to detect when the car key was in proximity to the car. With multiple buttons, you can lock or unlock the door, open or close the trunk, and set off the car alarm (or turn it off)–all without having to insert the key into the car door. You didn’t have to be really close to the car, as some remote keys could work up to dozens of feet away. In fact, many people still use these keys today!
These days, car keys have come a long way and have evolved into smart and digital keys. They have keyless entry systems that allow us to enter our cars without even having to take anything out of our pockets. This makes it easy for us to keep track of where' we stored our keys since we can leave them in a zippered pocket or bag. Some vehicles are also capable of automatically unlocking when it senses the key on your person and you’re close to the door.
In terms of starting the car, there are now push-button ignitions that only require you to have the key fob on you. As long as the key’s on you, you can start the car without taking it out. We also have keyless ignition, which allows us to start the car without a key at all! There are plenty of high-end luxury cars that come with these features as standard, but even some more affordable cars are now offering them as well. You’ll even find some vehicles capable of turning on through a smartphone app or a touchscreen on the key.
Vehicles are far more secure now than they’ve ever been. With all these new security features, it’s hard for thieves to break into cars and steal them. We have keys that are shaped like credit cards that have a transponder chip to start and secure the car. This creative invention lets you hide your card key in your wallet, which is a safe place to hide it. There are also digital keys that are stored on our smartphones that can do the same thing!
So, if you’re ever worried about losing your car key or having it stolen, you can rest assured knowing that it’s not as easy for someone to take your car as it used to be. Thanks to all the advancements in car and key technology, we can now enjoy the convenience and security of modern-day keys.
What’s more convenient than remotely starting your vehicle from inside your house on a cold winter day? You can have a cup of coffee or just relax for a couple of minutes while your car heats up. Then, when you step inside, you’re nice and toasty, your vehicle is properly warmed up, and you’re ready to go!
What the Future Beholds
How much more advanced can car keys really get? As we move into the future, it’s likely that car keys will still continue evolving in ways we’d never expect. Maybe we’ll have facial recognition keyless entry, or perhaps we’ll be able to start our cars with our voices. We might even have iris -scanners or fingerprint readers built into our keys! It’s exciting to think about all the possibilities of the future beholds.