As the name portrays, this is a technology that allows the driver to get into the car without a key. It was first used in the 1980s, with the setup comprising a keypad located at the door's handle.
The driver had to simply key-in a preprogrammed access code for the doors to be unlocked. This system was used by General Motors car models such as the Buick Regal and the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. However, nowadays, these are used widely as a standard luxury car feature.
Remote Keyless Access
This setup consists of a Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) as well as a Remote Keyless Ignition (RKI) system. RKE pertains to locking or unlocking car doors remotely, without using an actual key, while RKI pertains to starting the engine remotely. The system usually consists of just an electronic key fob, or the conventional metal key with an electronic key handle.
The functioning of these systems is carried out with the help of radio waves at a certain frequency. The frequency range in North America is 315 MHz, whereas in Europe it is 433.92 MHz.
There are buttons on the key fob or key handle to lock and unlock doors, open the trunk or tailgate, operate the windows and the roof, activate or deactivate the car alarm, and to even start the ignition remotely. Depending on the function, the car will respond by making specific sounds, flashing all indicators at once, or a combination of both.
The range of operation varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, Ford normally sets a range of 20 m for Europe and North America, and 5 m for countries restricting transmitted power.
The latest in this technology is the 'Advanced Key' system. In this system, there is no need for the driver to press buttons on the key fob or electronic key handle to operate the doors or the ignition. Instead, the system in the car automatically senses if the electronic key carried by the driver is approaching, and appropriate actions are performed.
The engine start and door remote operation can also help you get in the car as soon as possible if you sense any threat when outside the vehicle. It is also an advantage in extreme hot or cold temperatures.
In cold temperatures, you can keep the engine on for few minutes before actually getting in. This will help the engine get warm, and can even get the heater going. In hot temperatures, you can start the engine and let the air conditioning cool the interior before you getting in.
When it comes to buying these systems, prices differ from brand to brand, and on the type of package and functions that are offered. For installation, you can get in touch with a local car accessories shop, where you can get a system suited to your requirements.