Car keys are a thing of the past

Car keys are a thing of the past

Today, in place of the hole for the traditional key, we have buttons for starting the ignition. This mechanism has been constantly improved over the years, and vehicles from 100 years ago were equipped with an ignition switch. It was enough to put the key into the ignition switch and turn it, and the starter made the internal combustion engine come to life. Previously, the electric starter - which was often optional - had to be activated by a separate switch. The key acted as an "authorization" to use the vehicle.


Order the e-edition of the magazine "auto motor and sport" - now 30% cheaper!

Join us on Facebook and stay up to date with automotive news!

The key to the interior of the car

The key to start the ignition quickly became a standard and a kind of symbol of modern, individual mobility, especially as it allowed not only to start the engine, but also to release the steering lock. It is worth adding that in the past, a separate key was used to start the ignition, and another key to open the door locks. It was only in the 1950s that the universal key began to gain popularity slowly, but in cars from the 1980s and a little later, various keys were found.

photo: press materials Car keys

Kluczyki samochodowe odchodzą do lamusa

The ability to open all car doors with one lock was a big breakthrough. The ignition key first became a signal transmitter with the introduction of the central lock - starting in the 1960s. It allowed to open not only the driver's door, but also other doors and the boot lid. It is worth knowing that the first Mercedes equipped with central locking was the 300 SE with a long wheelbase (W 112) - in the late 1960s.

Over the years, the functionality of the car key has been systematically improved. In the 1990s, the keys became keyfobs for unlocking and locking doors. The next step was to eliminate the arrowhead. The small plastic housing resembled a key and had a built-in electronic system that communicated with the vehicle: the car accepted the order to start the engine after recognizing that the correct "key" had been inserted into the ignition and turned it. The traditional arrowhead is still included in the set - it allows you to open the driver's door in the event of failure of the central locking.

photo: press materials Car keys

And although many cars still used keys with a metal tip, the plastic head in most cases already housed the electronics that made it possible to deactivate the immobilizer and perform remote control. Over time, the so-called keyless access and, depending on the equipment, the cars allowed users to leave the electronic unit in their pocket or purse - the doors were unlocked and locked automatically.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the Keyless Entry KEYLESS-GO in 1999 in the then S-Class (220 series). The same was true for starting the ignition. In order to "ignite" or "extinguish" the engine, in many cars it is enough today to press the start / stop button on the dashboard. There is no longer any need to turn the ignition key - the last remnant left over from cranking the drive unit, an exhausting process that dates back to the early days of motor vehicles.

photo: press materials Car keys

Currently, the popularity of compact, smart keys with saved vehicle user profiles is growing in popularity. Or smartphones equipped with a virtual car key. Sensors in the vehicle identify the device and grant access, often activating the settings of many systems or seats according to the saved preferences of a particular user.

See also:

see the gallery