Lincoln is aiming to end the traditional key fob with their new Phone As A Key feature.
Traditional keys are dying. Most cars start with a button and the presence of a keyfob, which might also control the locks and tailgate. But when you get to remote keyless entry and push-button start and combine that with the multi-functionality of a modern smartphone, you sort of see how easy it would be to just get rid of keys altogether.
Lincoln seems to be the first North American carmaker to take note. That’s why they’re unveiling the new Phone As A Key feature on The Lincoln Way app.
The idea is simple: your phone is now a key. It takes over all the functionality of a traditional keyfob through a simple interface. It works on modern iOS and Android devices through a combination of cellular networks, WiFi, and Bluetooth.
With a cellular or Wifi connection, Phone As A Key allows you to lock, unlock, or start your car from pretty much anywhere. We’re not sure why you’d want to start your car at home while you're vacationing in South America, but whatever: you can do it. Eleven antennas ensure your Lincoln remains connected.
At least, until it goes underground. That’s where Bluetooth takes over. Once within 130 feet, your phone can connect to the car and activate additional functions like window controls, liftgate, panic alarm, and chirping function.
But what if your phone’s battery dies? Never fear, for a lock and engine start passcode can be set up to still allow you to drive your car. That passcode is stored locally on the vehicle, so you never have to worry about hackers getting into Ford’s databases in order to steal cars. You just have to worry about hackers walking up to your car and trying to spoof your passcode.
If you lose your phone, Ford has a solution there: you can delete Phone As A Key from your phone remotely using the Lincoln Way app.
Got kids? A spouse? Deadbeat friends that need to borrow your Lincoln for a weekend? You can add other phones and give them their own keys via the app. It’s like Ford has thought of everything.
Phone As A Key debuts on the 2020 Lincoln Aviator, which arrives at dealers later this year.