Weekend Courier - - Driveway -

SOME peo­ple have night­mares of drop­ping their car keys down a lift shaft or a street drain, but chances are the tra­di­tional car key is soon to be­come as an­ti­quated as the crank han­dle.

To­day’s keys are mainly electronic de­vices that sim­ply re­lay a sig­nal to the car, un­lock­ing its doors and al­low­ing a push but­ton to set the en­gine in mo­tion.

So why cart it around with you when the same work can be done by a smart­phone, or a Fit­bit-like bracelet?

BMW sales di­rec­tor Ian Robert­son, speak­ing at the re­cent Frank­furt Mo­tor Show, ques­tioned whether keys would re­ally be missed.

“Hon­estly, how many peo­ple re­ally need it?” he asked. “They never take it out of their pocket, so why carry it around?”

With key­less en­try and start/stop now main­stream, the need for a phys­i­cal key is be­com­ing ob­so­lete.

BMW is re­view­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of trans­fer­ring the key func­tion via an app on their smart­phones, some­thing al­ready avail­able on some Tes­las, and Jaguar has a wa­ter­proof bracelet avail­able for ac­tive folk wor­ried about losing their keys.

But what about phrases like ‘the key to suc­cess’? The ‘app to suc­cess’ just doesn't quite cut it.

A BMW smart key, Jaguar's bracelet key and Tesla's smart­phone app key.

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