Technological advancements and innovations have transformed the automobile industry over the past few decades. One only needs to look at the humble car key to understand the extent to which the automobile industry has transformed. From conventional one-sided keys to programmable transponder keys, car keys have evolved dramatically over the years.
With the advent of electric vehicles, auto keys and locking systems are becoming more advanced. What does it all mean for automotive locksmiths? Will the need for automotive locksmiths remain the same in a world full of electric vehicles with keyless entry systems? Let us take a look.
How Car Keys Have Evolved Over the Years
It all started with one-sided car keys, which Chrysler introduced in 1949. It was the first time a car key could turn on the ignition, which was a pretty impressive technological achievement for the time.
In 1965, Ford introduced the double-sided car keys, which were more functional than their one-sided counterparts – as they could be inserted into the tumbler either way. Also, these keys were more secure, as they were harder to copy and duplicate than one-sided ones.
In 1986, Chevrolet became the first company to introduce resistor keys that had a coded resistor built into them. These keys were much more reliable and safer than conventional ones and significantly reduced car thefts.
Laser Cut Keys
In 1990, the first laser-cut keys were introduced, which changed the automobile industry for the better. These keys were a lot harder to copy and duplicate compared to conventional keys.
It was also in the 90s that Mercedes introduced the very first switchblade key with a remote locking fob. All the modern key fob systems we see today can be traced back to this innovation.
In the early 2000s, transponder keys were introduced for the first time. Also referred to as chipped keys, these keys contain an electronic chip that can communicate with the ignition system through radio frequency.
In 2016, BMW introduced smart keys, which provide enhanced functionality and can be used to lock, unlock, or start a car remotely. Even if the car key fob is in your pocket, it can still communicate with the antennas in the vehicle through radio waves.
With the advent of electric cars, car keys have become more advanced than ever before. In fact, these modern car keys are not keys in the strictest sense. You can download an app to your smartphone and use it as the key for your vehicle. Tesla is the first company to introduce an app that runs on your smartphone – or any handheld device – and can be used to operate your car.
Yet another example of innovation in the automobile industry is the perfectly keyless app from Bosch, which allows you to lock, unlock, and operate your car using your smartphone. Apart from this, you can grant access to other people using the same app.
The Need for Automotive Locksmiths in a Fast-Changing Automobile Industry
The most pertinent question to be asked is – what does the future hold for automotive locksmiths? Will the art and science of automotive locksmithing become obsolete in a world of electric vehicles?
The short answer is – no. We will always need automotive locksmith services for several reasons – no matter how advanced our cars might become.
People Still Drive Cars with Physical Keys
Despite all the advancements in the automobile industry, most people still drive cars that require physical keys. As long as people use physical keys, they are bound to get locked out of their vehicle or lose their keys at some point, which means they will need the assistance of a locksmith, who can make a duplicate key or replacement key using a blank key.
Data shows that more than 4 million people every year call the AAA regarding a car lockout-related emergency. If and when it happens, the only person who can help you is the humble locksmith, who will show up with their trusted tools – from key blanks to cutting tools – and make a new key for you.
More importantly, many automobile manufacturers – even those that manufacture keyless cars – still provide physical keys or key fobs as backups.
For instance, Lincoln allows smartphones to be used as car keys. Still, it offers a standard key fob for all its vehicles as a backup, as there are many situations where a physical key or fob might prove invaluable.
For instance, if you misplace your phone or its battery dies, you will not be able to access your vehicle. Similarly, if there is any glitch in the mobile app, you will not be able to access your vehicle. Companies like Lincoln offer their customers physical keys or fobs as a backup.
Yet another problem with app-based keyless entry systems is the risk of hacking can never be ruled out. If equipped with the right tools, cybercriminals can gain access to your vehicle, which can be a nightmare scenario for any car owner. It is also why most vehicles – even the most advanced ones – come with physical keys.
As long as physical keys and fobs are around, the need for automotive locksmiths will always be there.
Automotive Locksmiths Have Evolved with the Times
The undeniable fact is that automotive locksmiths have updated themselves constantly and managed to keep pace with the advancements in car keys and locking systems. Auto locksmith services are no longer restricted to lock-picking and making replacement car keys using the old duplicator machine.
With the introduction of modern car keys, locksmiths have also upped their game and have started offering key repair, extraction, reprogramming, and replacement services for remote keys, key fobs, chipped keys, and smart keys. These days, locksmiths are equipped with all the tools and software programs to reprogram transponder keys and fobs if the original key is damaged or lost.
Many locksmiths are expanding their capabilities to include cutting-edge automotive locksmith services like key programming and reprogramming, reading, bypassing, and changing immobilizer data, initialization and synchronization of electronic transmission control units, and electronic control modules, instrument clusters, and many more.
By constantly upgrading their knowledge, technical skills, and equipment, automotive locksmiths can not only survive but thrive in the coming days. Simply put – as long as automobiles are around, automotive locksmiths will always be needed.
3 Guys Locksmith – The Dependable Automotive Locksmith Services in South Florida
At 3 Guys Locksmith, we know that the automobile industry is constantly evolving for the better. It is why we regularly update and upgrade our knowledge and technical know-how so that we can not only remain relevant in an ever-changing industry but also cater to the needs of our diverse customer base.
We stay updated on all the latest developments in car keys, lock systems, and ignition systems so that we can be prepared and equipped to handle all kinds of automotive emergencies. We offer an extensive range of car key replacement services and can duplicate and reprogram all the latest types of car keys. Apart from making replacement keys, we also offer ignition repair services for various vehicles.
We offer emergency auto locksmith services on a 24/7 basis. If you have lost car keys or if your key gets stuck or breaks off in the ignition, we can make a new car key in a matter of minutes.
In a car key-related emergency, you can call our mobile locksmith services at any time at 305-907-7707 or 239-249-5268. To find out more about our services or to schedule an appointment with an experienced automotive locksmith from our team, fill out our online contact form.