What problem is keyless ignition trying to solve?

I recently rented a Nissan Altima, which had the “feature” of keyless ignition. I found it really annoying. I was constantly tempted to put the key fob in the cup-holder, where I would then forget it when I left the car. Now, I love technology and gadgets as much as the next guy, but I really don’t see the point of this. Can someone tell me why this is so great?

It takes some getting used to, but I like it. The keys never have to leave your pocket or bag. I understand it’s not a major benefit, but it’s something.

Yeah, but you still need to handle the fob to unlock the doors or trunk - so (in my case) they need to come out of your pocket and then back into it.


I love keyless ignition. I leave the fob in the zipper pouch of my purse and I never worry about forgetting my keys in the car when I get out or having to dig around for them when I get in the car. When my arms are full I can walk up to the car door and not have to dig for my keys either. I have a full key chain, which dangles and tickles my knee when I drive in my car, so that doesn’t happen here either. Plus, I feel cool sipping into the car, pressing the brake, and hitting the button! :smiley:

My husband has the Altima, so I get to use the keyless entry/ignition when I drive his car and I love it. I thought it was dopey at first, but now I’m a convert.

Not in the Altima. It has a button on the door I press to unlock the door(s). Keys never leave my purse unless I’m going for the trunk.

And essentially impossible to lock the “key” in the car. I am sure someone has found a way thoug. :smiley:

Because you can keep the car key in your pocket or purse, you are much less unlikely to lock yourself out.

That would be odd. My only experience is with a Renault that while the fob had buttons, the system could be set to auto lock/unlock by proximity. Just used the fob button to release the boot.

For my vehicle, the fob only needs to be near the door, about 12" or so, to unlock by just grabbing the handle. So I never need to take it out of my pocket. And if you accidentally leave it behind, the doors will open as soon as you grab the handle, so no locking it in the car. I also sometimes wonder how cars that need keys handle remote starting, but never cared enough to research it.

Yeah, I like the fact can lock and unlock the doors with my key in my pocket more than the fact I can drive that way.

Well, since I didn’t get any instructions when I rented the car, I didn’t realize that you could unlock the door with the button near the handle. Still, since I was on vacation, I was constantly (several times a day) opening the trunk (“boot” for some of you), meaning I still had to handle the fob.

My car has this and a feature where you can unlock/lock the door/trunk by slipping your hand under the door while the FOB is in range. While it took some getting used to, I freaking love it now and don’t ever want to go back. It’s SO much easier to just have my keys in my pocket or purse and not have to ever get them out.

Like I said, I don’t have to do that on my Audi. I can walk up to the trunk, slip my hand under the sensor, and it’ll open the trunk for me. Doors also lock and unlock without me having the keys out. I can also close my trunk by pushing a button on the top of it.

It seems to be very convenient, in the same way that a push button fob is more convenient than using a key.

My issue with it is that it encourages an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude toward your keys. I think requiring a physical object be attached/inserted into the car before it can operate is a useful fail safe. Without it, I think we create problems that do not exist with the prior physical key system.

Two problems come to mind, one happened to my dad, one is theoretical.

The first is when my dad picked up the wrong set of keys while dropping my mom off at work. The car operated normally because she had a fob in her purse. After dropping her off, the fob was no longer in the car, and when he stopped at the store, he was stranded.

The second is when you drop the fob in the cup holder and forget it. At that point, anyone who can operate a doorhandle can steal your car. This is also true if you leave your keys in the cupholder, but you’re much less likely to do that because you have to physically turn the key to turn off the car. With a fob, you only need to push a button, which has nothing to do with the fob itself. You also don’t have to actively lock the car, so the fact that the fob is missing from your pocket/purse does not raise any alarm.

There’s some car commercial on now which plays off this feature. A guy is getting ready for work, only to discover that his bulldog has swallowed the fob. He picks up the dog and holds it next to the door, then the steering wheel, to be able to drive to the vet. On the way out of the car he closes the door, then remembers to hold the dog up against the door to lock up before going into the vet’s office.

Now that I think about it, I thought on my husband’s Altima you could open the trunk via a button on the trunk without using the fob directly. I’ll have to check tonight when we get home.

I’m trying to remember, but I think if you try to lock the car with the fob inside it gives you an warning and won’t lock. Doesn’t help if you just close the door and walk away, though.

…dirty old egg-suckin’ dog.

My car beeps at me if I leave the keys inside when I leave whether I lock or not.

I dont use the cupholder much, but there is a much more likely way to suffer the same consequences: if you drop the fob into your coat pocket on a chilly, rainy morning as you walk out to the car.
An hour later, you arrive at your destination, the sun is shining and it’s not cold, so you leave your coat in the car, and walk into your office.

me, I’m a Luddite and proud of it. I still roll my windows down.

Yes, that’s how it is on my car. And who walks away from their car without locking it, anyway?