BMW is studying the possibility of doing away with traditional car key fobs, saying a smartphone app could take their place.
In a recent interview with Reuters, BMW board member Ian Robinson revealed the automaker would like to one day do away with the key fob. With nearly all of its customers having a smartphone with access to the free BMW App, which allows customers to unlock their vehicle, having a key isn’t entirely necessary. Most new cars don’t even require a key to be inserted anywhere – as long as the fob is nearby, the push-button start will work, so the same could be achieved with an app.
“Honestly, how many people really need it?” Robertson asked in an interview with Reuters. “They never take [the key fob] out of their pocket, so why do I need to carry it around?”
“We are looking at whether it is feasible [to get rid of the key], and whether we can do it. Whether we do it right now or at some point in the future, remains to be seen,” he added.
This seems like an inevitable advancement in the automotive industry, but we would miss having a nice tactile object to go along with our car. Personally, we’d much rather use BMW’s funky touchscreen display key for the i8 than a smartphone app.