At the same time as making key fobs bigger and more complicated than ever, BMW is thinking of ditching them altogether. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW board member Ian Robertson told Reuters that the Bavarian firm is mulling over the future of the key fob, given how many of its customers own a smart phone that can be loaded with the BMW App.
The app can be used to unlock many of the company’s more recent models, so as Robertson puts it, “how many people really need it [a key fob]?” It’s something already happening elsewhere in the industry, with a mobile phone app being the only way of unlocking and starting up the new Tesla Model 3. Then there’s Jaguar Land Rover, which is currently looking at facial recognition technology as the future of car access.
As far as BMW goes, it seems to be a question of when, rather than if fobs are consigned to the history books. “We are looking at whether it is feasible, and whether we can do it. Whether we do it right now or at some point in the future, remains to be seen,” Robertson concludes.