Car keys set to become redundant

Visteon has developed a radio-operated vehicle entry and engine ignition system which could make car keys a thing of the past. Motorists need only carry a silicon chip, embedded in a credit card sized piece of plastic. Simply by having the card somewhere on their person, motorists will be able to open the car’s doors, bonnet and boot, and start the engine.

Within 1.5m of the car, the card’s chip automatically transmits radio signals to aerials hidden in the rear bumper, exterior mirrors and the interior. The chip is identified instantaneously, and confirmed as the right one for that vehicle before entry is enabled. To start the engine, the driver simply presses a button where the ignition lock would normally be. This sends a code to the card to verify identification, confirms the system is working, and starts the engine.

Visteon says that security of the system was a high priority. It claims that the radio transmission of the security code cannot be overridden by external influences, and says that both the transmission and response signals are altered continuously.