Passing The Torch

Nov. 20, 2019

A recent internet article by Bosch Global has a subtitle of "Farewell to a Part of Automotive History." Bosch has supplied ignition switches for approximately 100 years. During that time the metal key was king. Originating or duplicating keys was a simple locksmith procedure.

According to Bosch Global, the end of metal keys for vehicles signals an exciting new era. A different Bosch system will be "better, safer, cooler." In place of a metal key, Bosch Global envisions the use of cell phones as the access system to "automatically unlock, start and lock vehicles...."

Electronics in one form or another has been used for automotive security since the 1980s. From VATS pellets, to transponder keyheads, to fobs, remotes and biometrics, transitions from one technology to the next continue unabated. Time will tell if Bosch Global cell phone security is the next big step in the process.

Aftermarket key blank manufacturers are apparently noticing the trend away from metal keys. The latest announcement from Ilco US shows a program for choosing 150 different available remotes. According to wholesale locksmith distribution, an investment of several thousand dollars will be required to stock all of the Look-Alike remotes. The latest monthly announcement from JMA displays a quartz remote control for automatic garage door opening. Neither company offers new metal keys in their latest announcements.

At the opening of the 1996 Olympics, a memorable video showed Muhammad Ali lighting the eternal flame. Muhammad Ali was already in poor health. During that same time electronic security for vehicles was becoming of age. Whether it be sports or security, the unmistakable similarities of passing the torch to new generations cannot be understated.