Most luxury vehicles, and many mid-range vehicles, are today equipped with some variant of smart or intelligent key technology. The conventional key is nearly obsolete. Transmitter fobs, (the kind that make use of the radio frequencies in order to start the car’s engine and unlock and lock the door), which were recently considered futuristic, have now been supplanted in a big way by BMW’s latest intelligent "Display Key".
What is the BMW intelligent Display Key?
The BMW intelligent Display Key is available with the new BMW G11/G12 7-Series and BMW i8. It is angular in shape and made of glass and aluminium. It features an LCD touch screen that measures 2.2-inches diagonally. The screen displays a wealth of information about vehicle, such as fuel status and driving distance or electric battery range, position of locks and windows and even service requirements. It has a transmitting range of nearly 1000 feet.
Similar to your smartphone, you can use intuitive touch screen gestures to swipe through menus and tap to select options. It charges via a tray in the dash or a micro USB, and we’re told it can hold a charge for up to three months.
What else can it do?
A modern BMW is a complex computer on wheels. Even vehicles without the intelligent Display Key are equipped with a networked array of computers and sensors. The intelligent Display Key taps wirelessly into this network and provides an incredibly user-friendly way of accessing valuable data that would otherwise be inaccessible.
The Display Key’s basic functionality allows the driver to unlock and lock the doors without reaching for the key. This is known as the Passive Keyless Entry System. The intelligent Display Key also controls an incredible Remote Control Parking feature, which is an autonomous parking system that allows the driver to reverse or forward into a parking space while standing outside of the vehicle.