GM Develops Smart, Secure & Potentially Stylish Fob

An electronics development from a team at General Motors could make cops happy and car thieves unhappy.

An electronics development from a team at General Motors could make cops happy and car thieves unhappy. It’s a superior smart key.

Dave Proefke, a GM Technical Fellow who led the team who came up with the advanced wireless car key, describes it in a way that makes it seem scary-smart: “It does a lot of the thinking for you. It tries to determine your intended action and performs that action for you.”

More prosaically, if you have a 2011 Buick LaCrosse, say, fitted with this system, the fob, which sends a constant stream of information to the vehicle, allows a locked vehicle to be entered by simply pulling up on the door handle. The car “knows” that the key is in a purse or pocket. What’s more, with pushbutton starting, it isn’t necessary to take the fob from the purse or pocket, just to put a foot on the brake pedal and a finger on the start button.

In the event that the fob is left in the car upon departure and an attempt is made to manually lock the car—leaving the fob inside—the system prevents that from occurring.

 

So the cops may be happy because they won’t have to try to help Buick owners who have locked their keys in the car because that is prevented.

Thieves won’t be happy because many of the mechanical elements—as in the wiring and the cylinders that facilitate car boosting—aren’t installed on cars with this more advanced tech.

While Proefke, who holds several patents on vehicle security systems, may be exceedingly adept in this arena, his fashion sense may be called into question. According to Proefke, in the future “Key fobs will become smaller and more jewelry-like and could even be worn.” Well, maybe worn by Lady Gaga or someone.

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