wjxt logo

Your phone is about to replace your keys

Smartphone app set to access, operate cars

Photo does not have a caption

The time has finally come for all of us to forget about losing our keys or carrying them around, because your phone is about to fix it all.

Some new car models recently stood out at a New York auto show for releasing the first production cars owners can completely access and operate using their smartphones.

Oh, how we have waited! Here's the skinny on how they will work.

In the case of the Lincoln Aviator, owners can unlock and lock doors, open the lift gate, start the car and drive all with the smartphone app known as “Phone as a Key.” The technology links to a personal driver profile so that the user can authenticate themselves to the car, with things like customizing seat, mirror and pedal positioning, among dozens of other things -- and all without a key fob.

Some other exciting features the app offers include:

  • Creating a limited-time code so that others can access the car if they need to.
  • Finding the car in a crowded parking lot by activating a locator chirp.
  • Pairing up to four devices per car via Bluetooth at the same time, according to Auto Verdict.

Are you already thinking about all the ways this could go awry? The company claims it has thought of everything.

What if your phone battery dies? A keypad can be used to enter a backup code to gain access.

What about once you get into the vehicle without the phone? How will you start it? A center touchscreen installed in the car can also be used to start and drive the car.

Possibly one of the most important questions: What if your phone is lost or stolen? Lincoln officials say the app can easily be deleted.

The new Hyundai Sonata has the same technology as Lincoln when it comes to using an app and what it can access, but the Sonata lacks the keypad in the event you lose your phone. Instead, it comes with a card embedded with near field communications technology as a backup.

These cars aren't necessarily the first to the new "key" technology. Tesla has allowed owners to gain access via phone, and according to Auto Verdict, Land Rover has a waterproof fob with no buttons.

The cars, along with the apps, are due to launch this year.

Are you excited about the idea of using an app to access and operate your car? Let us know in the comment section below.

About the Author:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.